ST. LOUIS -- Don't open that Roman Polak door.
Justin Braun is just happy he can knock on that door now and see a friendly face.
To which Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock after the game delivered one of the great all-time lines: "You found out, don't open the Roman Polak door. Don't ever open that door. Whoa."
Perhaps to ensure that the elephant in the room was eradicated right away, the Sharks showed a sense of humor in the aftermath of the team acquiring Polak from the Toronto Maple Leafs in late February.
"Actually, it was funny," Polak said on Sunday, smiling, as the NHL’s Western Conference finals got underway. "The first game was in Colorado after I got traded and I showed up there and in the meeting before the game they actually showed the clip when I was fighting with Brauner. He wasn’t very happy about it. But it was fun, we already talked about it. It’s all good."
Well, not sure "Brauner" thought it was that funny they showed the fight again in that team meeting.
"Oh yeah, they showed the video, it was great, I hadn’t seen it for a couple of years," Braun said Sunday with a tint of sarcasm.
"It was interesting seeing that again. But, hey, I made it out alive."
Braun pointed to the stall in the visitors’ room here in St. Louis and claims it’s exactly where he was sitting that night after that one-sided fight.
"I told him that’s where I was sitting, he’s got my stall now," Braun said, laughing. "We got a good laugh about it. Or I did. He just kind of looks at me like I’m an idiot. It’s kind of funny now, it’s five years later."
Added Braun about the whole thing: "It’s a good ice-breaker at least."
Only in hockey can two guys go from that moment to now being comrades.
"You got to turn the page on stuff like that, now you’re battling together for the big prize," said Braun, who said he was excited when the Sharks acquired Polak.
"I was excited because I know what kind of player he is. He is a hard player. He's really helped our back end, he’s made it tough. That was a bit pickup for us."
And by the way, that Roman Polak door?
"It’s still open," joked the Czech veteran.