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A Slap On The Wrist For The Coyotes?

via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The NHL is further investigating the postgame actions and comments of some Phoenix Coyotes players after their season-ending, overtime loss in the Western Conference finals, league executive vice president Colin Campbell told ESPN.com on Thursday.

The league is not pleased with some of what happened after Dustin Penner’s overtime winner Tuesday night for the Kings, including Coyotes center Martin Hanzal skating aggressively toward a referee and making a gesture, goalie Mike Smith throwing his stick and Keith Yandle’s postgame comment in which he suggested it was no surprise the calls didn’t go his team’s way given the similar colors of the refs’ and Kings’ uniforms.

“Their actions were unprofessional and unacceptable,” Campbell told ESPN.com.

The Coyotes were upset and emotional after their season ended just moments after Kings winger Dustin Brown crushed Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival with a controversial, borderline hit. There was no penalty on the play.

The league may decide to do nothing, but also could fine some players $2,500 apiece, the maximum under the collective bargaining agreement.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

BrendonR's avatar

Always interesting to see a team operate thats not used to going anywhere in the playoffs.  Between the Preds hijinks away from the rink and this whole thing, its a reminder of who the real big boys of the NHL are and how far these ‘southern darling’ franchises really have to go yet, despite their premature coronation in the media this year.

Posted by BrendonR on 05/25/12 at 12:02 PM ET

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I don’t know what was said, but watching it, i didn’t think anything the Coyotes did was that much worse then either of Doughty’s overtime period freak outs.

Posted by jwad on 05/25/12 at 12:12 PM ET

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Agree with jwad. They just got knocked out of the playoffs, and they thought Rosival was kneed at the time. Let it go and It’ll just go away.  Sticks get thrown and slamed n broke all the time, especially in OT this time of the year.

Posted by T on 05/25/12 at 12:16 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

I think the NHL’s point is that is was done with the game already over.  Doan’s refusal to play nice in the handshake line was ridiculous.  Players go off on refs one-to-one, during the game, almost like every other NHL game.  Its far different than continuing that tantrum into the handshake line or any post-game pressers. Ive personally never seen a team lose a series so unprofessionally.

Posted by BrendonR on 05/25/12 at 12:20 PM ET

awould's avatar

Between the Preds hijinks away from the rink and this whole thing, its a reminder of who the real big boys of the NHL are and how far these ‘southern darling’ franchises really have to go yet, despite their premature coronation in the media this year.

Pretty sure every player on all those ‘southern darling’ teams is from the same places as all the players on the big boy teams. it’s not a southern team thing, it’s a pissed off hockey player thing.

I watched that entire game and I can understand why the Coyotes were pissed. Some bad non-calls and most favored the Kings. Doughty was allowed to act like a petulant baby (twice) and did everything but throw his stick, and a really obvious boarding call was ignored (not missed, the ref was looking at it). The hit on Rozsival was questionable but given the game to that point, I’d have been shocked if the Coyotes didn’t see it as more of the same.

As for the Predators, your point is even more asinine. If you’re going to blame the Preds for Kostitsyn’s off-ice antics, then it’s fair to point out that, by your logic, he must have learned them in the hockey mecca of Montreal where he first earned his crap reputation.

Or maybe he’s just a dbag wherever he plays.

Posted by awould on 05/25/12 at 12:22 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Playoff games amp up emotions.
Overtimes amp up emotions further.
Elimination games amp them up even further.

Throw in that knee on knee play that might have changed everything if it was called and this is the result.

Forget “professionalism”, this is just being human IMO. Being eliminated from the conference finals in overtime on a non-call (for a play that was extremely dirty if in fact it was a penalty) is bound to rile them up. If they reacted with violence - like started a fight or something - that’s one thing, but these little spurts of emotion were nothing and to be expected.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/25/12 at 12:33 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

Its about the culture of the organization.  The Yotes proved themselves an immature group in over their heads when it came to swallowing a Conference Final series loss.  The Preds chose to bring in players with obvious histories of questionable character and then didnt do enough to make sure they behaved.  Could you even fathom Nik Lidstrom doing what Doan did in the handshake line after losing a series?  Or any Wings player pulling off what Rads and co did during the playoffs?  (Okay, maybe Hudler ha).  Most teams know how to handle themselves like professionals in the playoffs.  Its not like Doughty even wears a letter for the Kings, and I certainly wouldnt compare an under-25 defenceman to the other team’s 30 some odd yr old Captain who is the role model for his franchise and a father away from the rink.  I totally agree that the calls made were ridiculous, but this went into the realm of embarrassment for their franchise.

Posted by BrendonR on 05/25/12 at 12:34 PM ET

awould's avatar

Agree to disagree, I guess. I’ll just point out the behavior of the entire roster of both the Pens and Flyers during their series to illustrate possibly the lowest form of immature antics. Or how about the super mature press conference that Tortorella treats us to after each game? And may as well throw in the king of the mighty Maple Leafs, Burke, who sets the culture for his team by being belligerent toward anyone he perceives as daring to question his decisions. I think the Coyotes have held up really well as a team given all the adversity they face. The way that game ended was terrible and would upset anyone. And yet people are making a big deal about Hanzal getting uppety in the handshake line; at least he was in the line, the same can’t be said of Crosby and he was the winner. Besides, why is it all piled on the Coyotes to behave with total honor towards the guy (Brown) who played with none the whole series?

As for the Preds, what’d you want them to do? They suspended these players for their antics, not sure what else they could do other than to strap them to their beds before anything could’ve happened. 20/20 hindsight. I’d bet a lot of money that more than 15 teams in the NHL would have let those guys keep playing.

Posted by awould on 05/25/12 at 12:49 PM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

I recall Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios not even going into the handshake line one year and I don’t hear you talking about that.  The guy was ticked off, just like Chelios and they both apologized for acting like they did the day later.  It’s an emotional game and sometimes, they can overtake you and inspire you to say some things you’d probably like to take back.  Being in Nashville and Phoenix doesn’t even mater, dude.  These aren’t robots playing a game (although that would be pretty awesome).  These are human beings, and last time I checked, humans have emotions and make mistakes. 
Let it go…

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 05/25/12 at 12:50 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I recall Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios not even going into the handshake line one year and I don’t hear you talking about that.

For the same reason you’re not talking about Brodeur and Avery not shaking hands, because it didn’t happen this year.

“hurrr… why are you guys talking about something that happened a week ago and not about something from five years ago? durrr”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/25/12 at 12:56 PM ET

awould's avatar

“hurrr… why are you guys talking about something that happened a week ago and not about something from five years ago? durrr”

I also don’t hear anyone talking about how the Pistons dissed the Bulls in ‘91. Therefore=hypocrites. Game-Set-Match, chuuuuumps.

Posted by awould on 05/25/12 at 01:00 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Could you even fathom Nik Lidstrom doing what Doan did in the handshake line after losing a series? 

No, but I do recall McCarty refusing to Shake Lemieux’s hand after the 1996 Western Conference Finals.

Or any Wings player pulling off what Rads and co did during the playoffs?

Bob Probert?  Petr Klima?

I agree with what perfection said above (I make a habit of never trying to disagree with “perfection”).  It was an emotional series.  It was the furthest the team had ever made it in the playoffs.  They just lost in overtime.  They were all race cars in the read.  We expect these players to put their heart, soul and everything into each and every game.  We condem them if they don’t appear to be doing so (see, e.g., Franzen).  We have to give them a little leeway if they sound off immediately following a game, especially if its an elimination game they lost.

Remember Draper’s comments after 2009 about that stupid handshake crap?  It was the same type of thing.  Given sometime to think about it and cool down, he’d had never raised it.  This isn’t an organizational thing or a “southern team” thing.  It’s a person/human thing.

I am huge Wings fan.  Been so for almost 25 years now.  I am not hear to rag on the Wings or anything, but just to show you that every team is a collection of people and sometimes emotions (or tomfoolery) gets the best of people regardless of the symbol on their jersey.

Posted by Ajax19 on 05/25/12 at 01:05 PM ET

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Just look at awould’s avatar. I don’t think Mr. Mccarty shook Lemieux’s hand in that handshake line. And i’d have to imagine he had a few choice words. I don’t remember it very well, but I’m pretty sure its been on record that he didn’t shake his hand.

Posted by T on 05/25/12 at 01:06 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by T on 05/25/12 at 12:06 PM ET

My avatar shows McCarty attempting to shake hands with Lemieux repeatedly. Claude was being rude by offering up his head instead of his hand.

Posted by awould on 05/25/12 at 01:09 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by T on 05/25/12 at 12:06 PM ET

Not to mention, that was a regular season game. No handshakes required.

Posted by awould on 05/25/12 at 01:10 PM ET

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Haha. I guess I can see it now awould. I got both those fights on tape. Every once in awhile I’ll sit down and watch em.

Posted by T on 05/25/12 at 01:13 PM ET

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I was talking about what led up to that in the playoffs. I know htat was regular season

Posted by T on 05/25/12 at 01:14 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

I guess my point is that the Leadership of the Yotes was doing the whining.  Both Probert and McCarty were known bad boys on the team.  I know Probert had an ‘A’, but I would say no one considered him as repping the whole franchise.  This all came from Doan, Yandle and Smith - their leadership group - after they lost.  Drapers point was the same Im making: some teams have some growing up to do in the playoffs.  When a misfit goes off its expected, but when your leaders act this way it says a lot.  Im specifically referring to honor in losing by the team’s captain.

Posted by BrendonR on 05/25/12 at 01:16 PM ET

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The Doan hate is perplexing.

Granted—he ran everything in a Wing sweater in the ‘10 quarterfinals. It was violent. It was irreverent. Watching the Red Wings try to hit back was like watching the debate club try to beat up the captain of the varsity football team.

Until he crashed the net like a 747 in a nose dive with the throttle stuck in the Take Off/Go Around position. Jimmy Howard’s head was down, and had Doan simply held his course, he could have separated it from the young man’s body. Instead he jumped, because he knew what would happen if he didn’t, and he sailed into the boards… and dislocated his shoulder. Knocked him out of his, and his team’s, first playoff series since nineteen-ninety-never.

Such a dirty, whiny player though, huh?

Of course Detroit took that series, and the rematch in ‘11 was a bad joke that ended mercifully after four games.

So I’m not sure how, for numerous Wing fans here, Doan has become public enemy number… oh, we’ll say, four or five? You guys sure don’t miss an opportunity to dump on him. Have I missed the part where he ran over Nik Lidstrom’s puppy?

Posted by MP on 05/25/12 at 03:09 PM ET

awould's avatar

The Doan hate is perplexing

I’m a die hard Wings fan and have lived in Phoenix off and on since 88. I like following the Coyotes as a (distant) secondary team. They really surprised me against Nashville and I was rooting for them against LA.

Doan has earned his reputation among Wings fans though. When you say he ran everything in a Wing sweater, you leave out that many (or most) were dirty or very borderline hits. He never once held up and should’ve been called for some roughing/late hits more than a few times. Before he took himself out of the playoffs by dodging Howard, he took Franzen out with a very very borderline and dangerous hit.

I don’t think Doan is a dirty player. I think he’s a reckless player. And I think in that first round 2 years ago with Detroit, he came out like a rookie who’d never been to the big game before but was expected to lead.  It was like he knew the stories of how you gotta play at a different level and he confused that with playing like a jackass. It cost his team. Last year against Detroit, he had toned it down some. This year, he looked like he finally learned to control it. But he is a very emotional guy, which is great until it isn’t. And Doan has his share of not-so-great.

Posted by awould on 05/25/12 at 03:15 PM ET

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They’re making too big a deal out of this. Brodeur wouldn’t even shake Avery’s hand in the line a few years ago.

Posted by larry from pitt on 05/25/12 at 04:23 PM ET

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the same can’t be said of Crosby and he was the winner.

Crosby was late to the line, but he most certainly shook hands.

I was more shocked by the post game interviews.  You usually don’t hear that from most teams after the gAme or from multiple members.  They will learn from it, but I wouldn’t disagree with some fines.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 05/25/12 at 04:24 PM ET

awould's avatar

They will learn from it, but I wouldn’t disagree with some fines.

It would be fitting for the NHL if Doan’s smack talk gets equal punishment as Weber’s head smash. I love watching the games and following my teams but the league is a joke when it comes to discipline.

Posted by awould on 05/25/12 at 04:34 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

I think this kind of thing during a series is totally okay as far as gamesmanship goes, and we all know it probably can have a real effect on the reffing, especially when the coaches get into it.  But I just don’t recall a team being so bitter after losing a series towards the officiating as far as making it the scapegoat for their loss.  And they definitely did not lose because of officiating, as terrible as it was, they were beat by the better team.

Generally teams will place the blame fully on themselves once the series is over and done with.  I don’t recall Babs citing the fact that Radulov had no business being in the NHL in the first place this year in his post-series presser.  I distinctly remember his assessment of the series being: “We need to get better”.  Also, I’d say there’s a difference between not shaking a hand, and getting all dramatic when Brown tries to explain himself when a simple nod of the head would have sufficed.  In my mind there’s also a difference between two random opposing players brushing each other off in the line, versus the captain of each team shaking hands to seal a hard-fought series closed.

As a Wings fan, I’m definitely not a Doan hater (he gave us Doan-face, after all).  If anything, I’m disappointed that guys I usually root for in Doan, Yandle and Smith got all crybaby-like long after the final goal went in.  They went into the series with their heads held high but for some reason couldn’t finish the same way.  Too bad because Tippett is such a respected coach and has done wonders to get them this far.

Posted by BrendonR on 05/25/12 at 06:13 PM ET

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Also, I’d say there’s a difference between not shaking a hand, and getting all dramatic when Brown tries to explain himself when a simple nod of the head would have sufficed.

Couldn’t disagree more. If a guy doesn’t want to shake my hand, that reflects badly on him and I’ll just move along. If a guy thinks that because he’s in a handshake line, that gives him license to (from my perspective) BS me without me responding, well, it’s not going to work that way. Brown should have said nothing. I wouldn’t take anything that comes out of the mouth of such an egregious diver like Brown at face value.

Posted by larry from pitt on 05/25/12 at 07:02 PM ET

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