The reason why the tale of David and Goliath is notable is because most of the time, Goliath should win. Put a 5-foot-9, 175-pound AHL goon against a 6-foot-5, 235-pound counterpart, and who do you think will usually come out on top?
Flames forward Ryan Lomberg, the former and smaller, took on Ross Johnston, the latter and larger, in Calgary’s 3-2 win over the Islanders on Sunday. With 84 penalty minutes in 37 games this season for the AHL’s Stockton Heat, Lomberg isn’t inexperienced. In his NHL debut on Jan. 25, he held his own against the Oilers’ 6-foot-3 Zack Kassian, and even provoked him into getting a game misconduct. This time around against a much larger opponent, Lomberg wasn’t as fortunate. Johnston, who’s second in the AHL with 113 penalty minutes in 38 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, also isn’t new to this.
Lomberg ate a whole bushel of punches for his teammates—hopefully they appreciated it—and didn’t return to the game, but Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan said that was for precautionary reasons. Probably a good idea to give the guy some time off after that pasting.