DALLAS - Stars forward Steve Ott said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette's own arrogance - and not his body - got in the way last night during a tussle between the two in the hallway that leads to the locker rooms at the American Airlines Center.
Passion from an abnormally chippy game spilled over into the first intermission as Laviolette and Ott got into a brief shoving match on their way off the ice. The Versus cameras captured the scene live on national television.
Ott described the situation - which shows the two yapping back and forth at each other before pushing ensued - as Laviolette being in a hurry to get to the Flyers' locker room. The Flyers and Stars do not share a tunnel to the locker room - the Stars use the one at center ice and the Flyers use one in the corner end zone and take a long walk - but Laviolette decided to use Dallas' entrance instead of walking down the ice after the period.
"It's disrespect of our building, obviously," Ott said. "Just let our team off [the bench]. It's not that big of a deal. He obviously thought that he's got higher power than anyone else and the most arrogance of any coach in the NHL. That's the first time I've seen that.
"I would never do that if I was in Philadelphia's building and I had to walk through their lineup. It's his own arrogance going to the dressing room."
Laviolette declined to tell his side of the story. He was asked whether Ott's hit on Claude Giroux, back in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 10 with a concussion, late in the first period had anything to do with the scuffle.
"We should probably keep it about the game," Laviolette said. "It was such a big win for our organization. I am sure that is what you guys [the media] want to talk about."
After the incident, Laviolette used the Flyers' exit for the remainder of the game.
Both Laviolette and Ott could face disciplinary action. While a suspension for the minor incident is unlikely, Laviolette could face a maximum fine of $2,500. Last year in the playoffs, Flyers forward Dan Carcillo was suspended for an off-ice incident in the hallway when he verbally assaulted a referee in Boston.