Thursday, February 18, 2016

Paul Maurice Penalized, Ejected after Stralman's Hits go Uncalled

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice got the short end of the stick not once but twice during his team's 6-5 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Angered by Anton Stralman's dangerous hit on Bryan Little (see video above), which went uncalled, Maurice spent some time jawing at referees Dan O'Rourke and Francois St. Laurent before being awarded a bench minor. The frustration stuck with Maurice and when his team took the ice at the start of the third period he immediately got into it with the refs again and was promptly ejected by St. Laurent.

We're not sure what Maurice said, but we do know that Dustin Byfuglien thought it was funny:

After the game Maurice told reporters that he was proud of his team, which rallied from 4-1 down in the third to take a 5-4 lead before falling in the shootout, and added that he was concerned about Little's health.

"It’s because you work with these guys every day, and you care about them," he said after the game. "You care about their wives and their families, and Bryan Little’s getting his neck X-rayed, and I seem to be considerably more concerned about the result of that hit than anyone else."

Stralman's hit looks eerily similar to the one that Radko Gudas put on Sabres' forward Daniel Catenacci. Little, like Catenacci was on that play, was stretched out on the play, lunging forward and with head lowered. Neither Gudas or Stralman slowed up at all on their hits. Neither was penalized. Gudas did not get a call from the NHL's Department of Player Safety, and it remains to be seen what the NHL will do about Stralman.