Joe Sacco should’ve been a happy man after his Colorado Avlanche beat Calgary 2-1 (OT) on Tuesday. The win pushed the Avs to 7-2-1 in their last 10 and gave them sole possession of seventh in the West.
Yet when speaking to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post postgame, Sacco was not a happy man. See, Colorado went the entire game without a single power play — for the sixth time this year.
No other team has more than three.
“I hate to sound like I’m complaining, because that’s not what we’re about, but at the end of the day, enough is enough,” Sacco said. “It’s baffling to me right now.”
The zebras in question last night were Greg Kimmerly and Wes McCauley (Kimmerly was the guy that high-fived Montreal’s Erik Cole, by the way) — and to be fair, they put their whistles away for the majority of the evening. Calgary received just three power-play opportunities, one of which came on a too-many-men call against the Avs.
That was of little consolation to Sacco, though. He was livid over a non-call late in the contest when Mark Giordano opened up Ryan O’Reilly with the butt-end of his stick, drawing blood.
“[It was] a blatant high-stick on Ryan O’Reilly,” Sacco said. “It’s a scoring opportunity, and four guys on the ice miss it. I don’t know how you miss that call. That could have been a four-minute power play right there, and maybe we could have ended it in regulation. It’s baffling.”
Sacco’s frustration clearly wasn’t just about last night — Colorado came into the contest with the fewest power-play chances in the NHL (204). No word yet if the Avs coach will be subjected to a fine or discipline from the league but, as Dater pointed out, Sacco was angry to the point where he didn’t care.
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
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.