Jackets coach Scott Arniel wants more superstar treatment for Rick Nash

When you’re a young coach in the NHL and running a team that’s relatively young on its own, life can be tough sometimes when looking to get the ear of an official. When one of those young players is a superstar, however, sometimes getting the attention of the referees can be made a little easier, just ask Sidney Crosby.

In Columbus, times are apparently a little bit tougher for coach Scott Arniel. Arniel blew his top at officials Bill McCreary and Denis LaRue after seeing his own superstar, Rick Nash, take an apparent high stick from Willie Mitchell in the waning minutes of what was a one-goal game. The Kings potted an empty net goal and went on to beat the Blue Jackets 6-4.

After the game, Arniel made it clear that he doesn’t think his superstar is getting the brand of superstar treatment he should be receiving. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch shares the diatribe.

“I’m getting so frustrated,” Arniel said Saturday’s game. “I know I’m a young guy, and a young coach in this league. But to watch Rick Nash, what he has to take night in, night out … I watch other star players and the treatment they get, the calls that they get.

“Nash gets tackled going to the net. He gets a stick across the face. No call. I don’t get it. We try to be … I’ve worked with this team about not yelling at referees, not making them part of the focus. But maybe we have to do a little more crying and complaining. The stuff Rick takes for the superstar that he is … it really pisses me off.”

Rage on, coach.

No one likes criers or complainers but it shouldn’t have to come down to a superstar getting worked over for referees to see a high stick or any other obvious penalty late in the game. The Kings were on their heels late in last night’s game and if a call is made there, momentum fully swings in Columbus’ favor to tie the game up in the closing minutes.

Instead, no call is made and the Kings are able to finish it off with the empty net goal. It’s a dramatic turn of events all things considered and one that helps make the Blue Jackets road trip all the more dire. Columbus finished their four-game road swing 0-4-0 and gave up an average of five goals per game in those losses. We’re sure that Scott Arniel is frustrated with everything but politicking for an extra call or two is something every coach does. Doing so by asking for more superstar treatment is at least a new, fun angle in doing so.

Bruins’ second line officially goes under the microscope

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While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.

Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson
Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak
Jimmy HayesRyan SpoonerBrett Connolly
Chris KellyJoonas KemppainenZac Rinaldo

The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.

So, where is Krejci’s game now?

Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.

So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?

On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.

So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?

“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks