It probably wasn’t the debut New York Islanders rookie forward Mathew Barzal was hoping for.
Barzal was penalized twice in the opening 5:06 of Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals, including one infraction for playing the puck while standing inside the penalty box at the end of his first penalty.
That is … against the rules.
From the NHL rulebook, Rule 56.2 — Interference:
A minor penalty shall be imposed on any identifiable player on the players’ bench or penalty bench who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play. In addition, should a player about to come onto the ice, play the puck while one or both skates are still on the players’ or penalty bench, a minor penalty for interference shall be assessed.
“Never gonna forget that, will he? I told him it’s still hockey, go out and have fun. He rebounded well after that,” said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, as per Arthur Staple of Newsday.
The Islanders lost by a final score of 2-1.