And you have to give the Bruins full credit for this.
Look, I’m not trying to say Justin Williams is a bad captain, because that’s not true. He’s a great leader and has been integral in helping this young group get to where they are now. But with that being said, there’s no denying that in the Eastern Conference Final, he has done his team more harm than good.
The unraveling of ‘Mr. Game 7’ started in the second game of this series when Brad Marchand was able to get under his skin and goad him into taking a penalty.
Did Marchand deserve something on the play? Probably, but it was very uncharacteristic of Williams to retaliate which in turn cost his team a goal on the ensuing Bruins power play.
After the game, the 37-year old acknowledged the poor play of both himself and his team, and seemed ready to move on from the 6-2 rout and his confrontation with the NHL’s most notable agitator.
That was until the 18-year pro started Game 3 like an absolute mad man.
I don’t know what Torrey Krug did, if anything, to provoke the Canes captain, but it surely worked as he baited him into several first period penalties.
This is the definition of playing without composure.
But Williams’ tirade didn’t start and end with his fixation on Krug, it extended to a familiar face.
Perhaps the worst of his antics from the evening was this punch to the back of David Backes’ head as he laid on the ice completely defenceless.
So surely, Williams’ lack of discipline has forced the Hurricanes to be short-handed on numerous occasions this series, but that’s not the full extent of his inability to demonstrate self-restraint. Optically, having the leader and most seasoned member of a fairly inexperienced squad seeking out personal vendettas to the detriment of his own team is not a good look.
And at a time of year where actions speak unquestionably louder than words, the Canes captain has not led by example.