We know now that Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman will not face supplementary discipline for a hit that injured Winnipeg’s Bryan Little in Tampa’s 6-5 shootout win. That won’t make Paul Maurice feel any better—the Jets coach was ejected after yelling at officials over the hit.
It was actually Stralman’s second questionable hit of the game, neither penalized, but certainly the iffier of the two. Little was off-balance—everyone’s favorite defense for justifying hits like this one (and not always an unfair defense either)—and Stralman straight laid him out. Little left the game, and underwent X-rays on his neck.
The hit occurred with three minutes left in the second, but when the Jets returned to their bench to start the third Maurice was still steamed, yelling at the referees. Reading his lips you can see him say something about “two missed calls,” and he keeps using some word that starts with “F.” That was enough—Maurice was tossed. NHL coach ejections are rare, but this was the second one in a week.
Maurice took more issue with referee Francois St. Laurent smiling and laughing as he gave the coach the boot.
Asked for a reaction to St. Laurent chuckling/smiling about the ejection, Maurice added this: “You’re not doing me any favours here. I understand you’ve got a job to do, but I think that would then have been consistent with their overall demeanour regarding the whole incident. That’s fair.”
Jets forward Blake Wheeler added, “It’s a shame the refs don’t have to do media scrums after the games, and let him [St. Laurent] answer that question.”