McLellan irate after Sharks on wrong end of another ‘blown call’


Suffice to say Todd McLellan isn’t a big fan of the officiating the Sharks have seen this season.

On Tuesday night, San Jose lost 3-2 in Nashville on this goal, which proved to be the game winner:

Allowing the marker to stand — referee Mike Hasenfratz reportedly explained that Marc-Edouard Vlasic pushed Colin Wilson into Antti Niemi — proved the tipping point for McLellan, who called it a “blown call” then ranted not just about the Nashville goal, but the number of decisions that have adversely affected his team this season.

From the Mercury News:

“We’ve played 44 games,” he said. “I go back to the Buffalo blown call in overtime, I go back to the blown call in Winnipeg, I go to one in Minnesota and I go to the one tonight. That’s one in every 11 games.

“I understand mistakes because I make a lot of them behind the bench,” he continued. “But when you get an explanation from a group of people and it didn’t happen, it’s disappointing. It really is disappointing.

“There’s also protocol to follow in our league and that protocol is you get together and you discuss it and that didn’t happen either. Obviously I’m not very happy with it.”

In case you’re wondering about the incidents McLellan referenced:

NHL defends no-goal call in Sharks-Sabres OT

Marleau OT goal vs. Jets waved off

Pominville interference on Niemi goes uncalled

The Sharks have been erratic of late, losing three of five, so one wonders if McLellan’s comments are simply the result of growing frustration.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.