By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
When Justin Williams famously said "Sometimes you've got to eat a poop sandwich," apparently he was saying it with a second helping in mind.
The Hurricanes captain ate some more excrement in Game 3 against the Bruins, curbing his team's first-period momentum with three unnecessary penalties and generally playing dirty and recklessly. He committed all of his penalties against the same player - no not Brad Marchand, but defenseman Torey Krug.
First Williams took a hand off his stick and needlessly whipped it into Krug's face in the corner for a roughing penalty. Then Krug re-engaged later in the period and drew a holding the stick against Williams, who tried to inconspicuously rip Krug's Warrior Alpha QX right out of his hands. To top it off, Williams delivered an elbow so high it basically went over Krug's head.
When asked after the game whether he felt he got unnecessarily "tied up" with Krug after saying he should've known better than to engage with Brad Marchand in Game 2, Williams gave a shrugging "Nope, nope."
The penalties didn't cost the Canes on the scoreboard, but it cost them precious time and energy. They spent 2:18 of the first period shorthanded, giving up two shot attempts in the process. In a period where they peppered the Bruins with 33 total shot attempts to just 10 at the other end, Williams' lack of discipline set an uneasy tone for a baffled Hurricanes team unable to solve Tuukka Rask. The Bruins quickly took control of Game 3 early in the second period with Chris Wagner's tally, and never trailed.
And despite all that, Williams' ugliest act of the night came with this punch to the back of David Backes' head as the Bruins center was sprawled on the ice in front of the net.
Arrest this disgrace and throw him out of the NHL pic.twitter.com/opgXmWfRgN
— Bruins Stats (@bruins_stats) May 15, 2019
It could be moot at this point, because the chances of the Hurricanes having enough talent, mental toughness, and luck to make this a competitive series are microscopic. If and when the Canes bow out, the recklessness of their own captain should be high on the list of culprits.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].