Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Phoenix Coyotes' Shane Doan, Mike Smith Receive Game Misconducts Following Loss to LA Kings

The post-game ejection. Very rarely does one ever experience such an event in baseball, basketball or even football—in those three sports, officiating mechanics often instruct referees and umpires to leave the confines of the playing area upon the final out, whistle or horn. Avoiding confrontation is the name of the game—if a player argues, officials are to disengage and walk away.

Mike Smith & Shane Doan - Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
However, not every sport provides its officials with such luxuries. For as long as the professional sport has had on-ice officials, hockey has mandated its officials stay on the ice slightly longer than referees stay on a court or umpires on a field.

No, unlike their MLB and NBA brethren, NHL officials are implored by Rule 31.10 to "remain on the ice at the conclusion of each period until all players have proceeded to their dressing rooms. This means NHL referees and linesmen must observe the post-game handshake line during which they continue to hold jurisdiction over all on-ice, team, player and coach related matters.

This rules oddity gave rise to the most unusual of ejections Tuesday night—the post-game variety. After an uncalled knee of a hit—ruled controversial and egregious by Phoenix and clean by Los Angeles—by Kings captain Dustin Brown on Phoenix's Michal Rozsival in overtime of the deciding Game 5, Coyotes players grew furious at officials, continuing to protest the no-call even after Los Angeles' Dustin Penner scored the game winner at 17:42 of the period.

As the Kings celebrated a return to the Stanley Cup Finals, Coyotes captain Shane Doan and goalie Mike Smith confronted the officials, who had remained on-ice as specified by Rule 31.10. As Doan and Smith continued to berate and challenge referees Brad Watson and Kevin Pollock, they were assessed game misconduct penalties under the purview of Rule 39.5(ii), which specifically addresses unsportsmanlike conduct—obscene, profane or abusive language or gesture[s] directed at any on or off-ice official or [the use of] the name of any official coupled with any vociferous remarks—that occurs after the expiration of the game.

For the Coyotes and their stars Doan and Smith, it was truly a wait until the final possible moment of their 2012 post-season before drawing those final ejections and for referees Watson and Pollock, it was a rare series of post-game ejections necessitated by two rules unique to hockey.


Anonymous said...

That's wild. The last time I remember baseball having a post-game ejection at MLB was, I think it was Jim Reynolds ejecting Russell Martin when he was on the Dodgers, vs the Angels in Anaheim. It was a time play wherein the tying run was the runner ahead of Martin. Sure enough, it was a hit to the outfield and Martin made too wide of a turn rounding second base. As Juan Rivera (on the Angels at the time) threw behind Martin, he dove back to second base too late and was called out, spiked his helmet in protest and was immediately ejected while the home plate umpire simultaneously declared the tying run had not scored prior to the third out - the game was over! just like that, a post-game ejection.

Lindsay said...

Very astute observation. Russell Martin was indeed ejected by 2B Umpire Jim Reynolds on June 23, 2010 (Ejections: Jim Reynolds [2]). With two out and two on (Martin was R1), B1 Jamey Carroll hit a Brian Fuentes fastball to shallow left, R2 Reed Johnson jogging around third base enroute to score. F7 Juan Rivera threw behind Martin to F4 Howie Kendrick, Martin out at second, as HP Umpire Mike DiMuro signaled the run did not score, effectively ending the contest and rendering Reynolds' ejection one of the post-game variety.

Anonymous said...

Hockey must have the most post-game ejections of any major sport here. There was a playoff game between the Sharks and Blues earlier this year where a fight occurred at the 20 minute mark of the third period (the final buzzer) and they issued a few game misconducts there.

There is a reason why NHL officials have to be on the ice the entire time the players are there.

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