Vancouver Canucks forward Tom Sestito was ejected just 2:33 into the first period of Monday’s emotionally charged Pacific Division meeting against the L.A. Kings.
Sestito received penalties including an instigator minor, fighting major, 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct for grabbing Kings’ forward Jordan Nolan off a faceoff, dropping the gloves and pummeling away on Nolan, who didn’t react.
Sestito, according to NHL.com, was credited with one second of ice time. He received 27 minutes in penalties.
He was reacting to to a hit Nolan threw on Canucks’ captain Henrik Sedin in the neutral zone on the shift before.
It’s interesting to note the comments of Canucks’ head coach John Tortorella from November, as he discussed the instigator rule with reporters following a Saturday night game involving the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I think the players need to police themselves. But when you put that instigator rule in, and you’re using all this supplementary discipline and all this crap that comes after, it needs to be taken care of right on the ice, and I don’t think you’ll have that stuff, the hitting from behind and the cheap stuff,” said Tortorella.
“We’ve taken too much of the game away from the players. The players are the ones that turn it into an honest type game, and we need to give that back to them. We never will, but we should.”
The two teams combined for 53 minutes in penalties in the opening period.
The Canucks were short-handed just nine seconds into the game, when Zack Kassian took down Dustin Brown, who nine days ago ran over Roberto Luongo, causing the Canucks’ goalie to suffer an ankle injury.
Despite being on the penalty kill for more than 10 minutes in the opening period – including time at five-on-three for L.A. – the Canucks outshot the Kings.