The incident in question occurred after New York center Artem Anisimov did the ol’ “point gun and shoot” celebration at the expense of the Lightning:
You can see Downie leave the Tampa Bay bench at the 4:15 mark. Even though he jumps on the ice with the apparent intention of going after Anisimov, it’s been determined Downie was going for a (legal) line change.
“It’s what I expected,” Downie said after he and Bolts GM Steve Yzerman spoke with Shanahan. “It is what it is. You’ve got to respect the decision. It’s not my call but I expect what he did and what he said.”
Downie didn’t say how much the fine was, but the maximum allowable is $2,500.
It should be noted this ruling is in lockstep with ex-referee Kerry Fraser’s explanation (courtesy TSN):
Tampa was entitled to have five players on the ice with Brett Connolly clearly at the players bench and his substitute, Steve Downie slow in placing his skate blades on the ice with the scoring of Anisimov’s goal. When play stopped with the scoring of the goal Tampa was likewise entitled to place 5 players on the ice.
There is certainly some onus on Steve Downie and should not absolve him from getting involved in an altercation that was in progress when he finally bolted from his replacement position sitting on top of the boards. As such, I believe that Brendan Shanahan is justified in invoking supplementary discipline to fine Steve Downie for becoming involved in the altercation and receiving a minor penalty on the play. I see it as a minor offense and certainly not a 10-game suspension.
Downie received a two-minute roughing minor and a 10-minute misconduct for his actions.
Stanley Cup Final referees: McCauley, O’Halloran, O’Rourke, Sutherland
PITTSBURGH — When Pete DeBoer was hired to coach the San Jose Sharks, he wasn’t totally cognizant of how much heartbreak the fan base had experienced throughout the years.
Now he knows.
“First year in the community, I didn’t realize kind of the baggage that was carried around,” DeBoer said this morning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. “Twenty-five-year season-ticket holders coming up to you with tears in their eyes and crying.”
The Sharks, of course, have never been this far in the playoffs. Prior to this year, they’d made it three times to the Western Conference Final, losing each time.
More painful were the first-round exits. Like in 2009 when they won the Presidents’ Trophy and got knocked out by the Ducks, and two years ago when they led the Kings 3-0 before dropping four straight.
It was only after the Sharks beat the Blues that DeBoer fully realized the “gravity of what they’ve been through” as fans in San Jose, and “how important this is to them.”
Not that he’s satisfied with getting this far.
“The business at hand now is to get off on the right foot, plant the right seeds for this series, impose our game,” he said. “Every series is the same — it’s whatever team can impose their game on the other team the quickest and for the longest. That’s our goal here tonight.”
The San Jose Sharks are unlikely to make any lineup changes for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh — at Monday’s optional morning skate, Nieto stayed out late with the extras while the guy he’d (presumably) replace in the lineup, Dainius Zubrus, told NHL.com he was in.
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer wouldn’t reveal any lineup decisions during his morning media availability, instead talking up both Nieto (for his speed) and Zubrus (for his “heavy” game), adding he liked the versatility the two give the club on a night-by-night basis.
Nieto suffered an upper-body injury in Game 6 of the Nashville series, and missed all of the Western Conference Final.
Prior to getting hurt, he had three points in 11 games — this after a regular season in which he scored eight goals and 17 points in 67 games.