Kevin Bieksa isn’t afraid of making accusations of embellishment. A couple of years ago, he called out the San Jose Sharks for a “lack of integrity.” Back in 2011, he called out his own Vancouver Canucks teammates for “crossing that line of integrity.”
The other night in Nashville, he had questions about the Predators.
Though Bieksa now admits it was wrong for him to taunt a prone Paul Gaustad after the Nashville forward was interfered with by Alex Burrows late in Tuesday’s game, the veteran defenseman apparently felt the Preds were, for lack of a better phrase, making the most of their injuries:
Not to excuse his actions in any way, but it’s not altogether surprising Bieksa was feeling frustrated. In the opening minutes of the game, he was given a minor penalty for hitting Viktor Stalberg in the head. As the Associated Press reported, the hit left “Stalberg on the ice for a couple of minutes before he skated to the bench.” The Preds then scored on the power play.
So you can imagine what Bieksa was thinking during the second period when Stalberg, not seriously injured after all, scored to give the Preds the lead.
Then, when Gaustad went down…
As it turned out, Gaustad was indeed hurt. In fact, he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Neither Burrows nor Bieksa received supplementary discipline for their actions Tuesday.