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Neil on Del Zotto: “I’m sure I’ll catch him with his head down one of these times”

Chris Neil

OTTAWA, CANADA - APRIL 23: Chris Neil #25 of the Ottawa Senators fights with Brandon Prust #8 of the New York Rangers in the first period of Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Place on April 23, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Chris Neil was understandably unhappy over a questionable hit from Michael Del Zotto during Monday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers, but he might have taken things too far after the game.

“I’m sure I’ll catch him with his head down one of these times,” Neil said in reference to Del Zotto.

That sounds an awful lot like a threat and given the warranted sensitivity regarding concussions, it’s a particularly bad one to issue. Who knows what kind of punishment will be given to Neil for that - and won’t it just please Senators fans if Neil gets punished, but not Del Zotto - but at the very least he’ll be under intense scrutiny. If Neil actually makes contact with Del Zotto’s head during Game 7 on Thursday after issuing that statement, then the league will have all the cover they need to throw the book at him.

That’s of course assuming that both of them are allowed to play in Game 7, which right now doesn’t seem like a certainty.