Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien gave reporters the Marshawn Lynch treatment on Tuesday, responding to questions with slight variations of "we just got to stick together as a team."
Byfuglien reportedly won't be disciplined for the hit he put on Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Monday, but that apparently did not elevate his mood by Tuesday's player availability. Byfuglien did receive a roughing minor on the play, and the Jets ultimately lost the game 5–4 in overtime to fall behind 3–0 in the series.
Jets coach Paul Maurice later supported Byfuglien's tactic, crediting him for at least keeping his language clean.
"As a competitive man he has the right to come out here and say that," Maurice said. "I want you to fully appreciate the number of F-bombs that he dropped on you in the back of his brain that didn't come out, out of the sense of the civility that he (has). He's a kind and civil and giving man, so the fact that he didn't tell you how he really felt, I think, is mature."
"There's been lots of days that I've come out and wanted to tell you what I'd like to invite all of you to do," Maurice said, noting it wasn't personal. "I get about five answers in my head to every question that's asked and they just pop up. One of them is so profane and inappropriate, like my parents would disown me even at my age. My dad maybe not so much. I learned most of it from him."
Game 4 of the Ducks-Jets series is slated for Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET in Winnipeg.
- Mike Fiammetta