The Vancouver Canucks didn’t put up a metaphorical fight in losing to the Anaheim Ducks 9-1 on Wednesday; Joacim Eriksson was probably right in describing the team as “not awake.” For better or worse, Tom Sestito seemed “alert,” though.
One game after racking up an ejection (including 27 penalty minutes) in one second of ice time, he was up to similar antics against the Ducks. He generated 22 penalty minutes in a comparatively robust 8:35 of ice time, thanks in large part to this incident with Tim Jackman and Mathieu Perreault in the third period, which earned him another ejection and another instigator penalty:
It wasn’t his only fight against Jackman tonight, either:
In 45 games this season, Sestito has 152 penalty minutes, easily the highest amount in the league. The 26-year-old’s total towers over Antoine Roussel’s 109 in second place.
The Canucks have been crowing about standing up for themselves lately and John Tortorella stood up for Sestito (and against the instigator) earlier on Wednesday. Here’s part of that quote, which seems especially interesting just hours later:
“We get caught in that, but if Tommy Sestito did that again, I would applaud him …” Tortorella said.
Instead, he provided no explanation to reporters after tonight’s shellacking, as the Vancouver Province reports.
Two days later, hockey fans in Vancouver are still talking about the game the Canucks played Monday in Los Angeles.
That game, of course, featured all sorts of rough stuff, including Vancouver’s Tom Sestito challenging Jordan Nolan to a fight for taking a run at captain Henrik Sedin. When Nolan wasn’t willing to drop the gloves, Sestito started throwing punches anyway.
Despite the fact the Kings received a seven-minute power play for Sestito’s actions, Canucks coach John Tortorella had absolutely no problem with what happened.
“I didn’t care about the penalties,” Tortorella said today on TEAM 1040 radio (audio). “I even told the team, I don’t care about the penalties. Because if you’re trying to do things the right way to get some of the ice that is yours…you’ll probably end up getting some penalties. But you usually kill those penalties off.”
Tortorella also reiterated his disdain for the instigator rule. And without naming names, he basically called out Nolan for refusing to fight Sestito.
“Something has to happen there too, where this instigator rule and the turtling that goes on in our game, which is just so embarrassing,” said Tortorella.
“We get caught in that, but if Tommy Sestito did that again, I would applaud him. It was the right thing to do. I just think the game has lost a little bit of its honesty and its honor as we’ve gone through here. Quite honestly, a lot of it is because of the way the rulebook is written.”
Related: Sticking up for each other is the new Canucks’ mantra
The Philadelphia Flyers have placed goalie Michael Leighton and forward Tom Sestito on waivers, according to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Leighton, 31, had only appeared in one game for the Flyers this season — a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Jan. 27 in which he stopped 21 of 26 shots.
His demotion is an indication that Philly will go with Brian Boucher as Ilya Bryzgalov’s primary backup.
Sestito, 25, has played in seven games this season, which included a huge effort in a Feb. 5 win over the Lightning. The rugged forward scored both goals in a 2-1 victory — the first two-goal game of his career.
CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio says the hope for Philly is for both to clear and join the Phantoms.
But that might not be so easy.
According to various sources, the Edmonton Oilers have an expressed an interest in Sestito. The Oilers are seeking toughness up front and were believed to be interested in Vancouver winger Aaron Volpatti before he was claimed off waivers by Washington.
It looks like Danny Briere won’t be available for the season opener due to a hairline wrist fracture. In fact, he might not even start the campaign on the Philadelphia Flyers’ 23-game roster, according to CSN Philly’s sources.
The source suggested that the Flyers will list Briere as “non-roster/injured.” That wouldn’t spare Philadelphia of his $6.5 million annual cap hit, but it would give them an extra spot on their 23-game roster.
That would allow them to keep Tommy Sestito going into Saturday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Briere is also expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, but he might be available after that.
Meanwhile, 2012 first-round pick Scott Laughton is projected to be part of the Flyers’ opening game roster.
Laughton has 33 points and 32 penalty minutes in 32 OHL games this season and has impressed Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.
“It’s just been practices for the most part, but the kid can skate well, and make plays. He’s a smart player,” Laviolette said.
Of course, even if he makes the Flyers’ roster, he will have to work hard to stay with the team past the initial trial period.