The NHL fined Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour $25K after Brind’Amour blasted officiating from the Bruins’ 3-2 double OT win in Game 1 on Wednesday. Echoing what they did with John Tortorella before, the NHL also hung a conditional additional $25K fine over Brind’Amour that “will be collected, in addition to any subsequent discipline, in the event of similar inappropriate behavior through Aug. 12, 2021.”
Odd? Draconian? Yeah, but the NHL — and other sports leagues, to be honest — tend to go to great lengths to defend officials. Tortorella kept his mouth shut, even after his Blue Jackets maybe should’ve gotten a power play or penalty shot during the fifth OT of their epic loss to the Lightning in that Game 1. We’ll see if the $25K (and a threat of another $25K) might inspire “Rod the Bod” to censor what comes out of his mouth.
If you missed the Bruins 3-2 double OT win against Brind’Amour’s Hurricanes in Game 1, you might want some added context. Let’s take a look.
[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
NHL fines Brind’Amour; The plays and comments in question from Game 1 Bruins – Hurricanes
As you can see starting at the 1:10 mark of the video above, a Charlie Coyle 2-1 goal counted despite what could have been either a hand pass or goalie interference call. The Bruins received a power play after a failed challenge — amid serious confusion from Brind’Amour and the Hurricanes — but Carolina responded with a shorthanded goal.
After the game, Brind’Amour vented about the call, and the entire process.
“This is why the league’s a joke, in my opinion, on these things,” Brind’Amour told The News & Observer’s Luke DeCock, among other media members. “That one is a crime scene.”
The Athletic’s Sara Civian transcribed some passionate quotes from Brind’Amour as well. Some are flat-out NSFW:
Brind'Amour: "The guy comes to me and says it's either goalie interference because he has it and the guy knocked it out of his hand or it's a glove hand pass, you gotta pick one. Either way it's a no goal. What? YOU have to tell me what the call is. He's telling me to pick one"
— Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) August 12, 2020
On one hand, you can see where the NHL is coming from. Officiating isn’t easy, and saying this shows an area where the league is a “joke” won’t do Brind’Amour any favors.
But, at the same time, the NHL demands that coaches and players make themselves available to the media. Sometimes when their blood is still boiling after losing a game. And more than a few people will agree that Brind’Amour has a point, not to mention Tortorella and others before Brind’Amour.
As difficult as it must have been for Tortorella to bite his tongue, it’s easy to see why. Sadly, it seems like you can only make these sort of comments behind the scenes.
Maybe some public pressure may eventually lead to a smoother and/or more transparent process? Who knows. Meanwhile, Brind’Amour must contemplate other questions.
” … I know we weren’t the better team, but if that goal doesn’t go in, do we win that game?” Brind’Amour said, via DeCock. “I don’t know.”
No. 4 Boston Bruins vs. No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes (BOS leads 1-0)
Wednesday, Aug. 12: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 3 (2OT)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Carolina at Boston, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 15: Boston at Carolina, 12 p.m ET – NBC
Monday, Aug. 17: Boston at Carolina, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Wednesday, Aug. 19: Carolina at Boston – TBD
*Thursday, Aug. 20: Boston at Carolina – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Carolina at Boston – TBD
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.