Monday Musings: John Tortorella deserves long banishment | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaMonday Musings: John Tortorella deserves long banishment

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 | 09:01 AM

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Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella faces a disciplinary hearing for confronting the Calgary Flames on Saturday. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press) Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella faces a disciplinary hearing for confronting the Calgary Flames on Saturday. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

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This week's Monday Musings delve into John Tortorella's actions on Saturday, the game-tying goal from the Detroit Red Wings that should not have counted and James van Riemsdyk's game-winning goal celebration against Montreal.

Some Monday morning musings from the NHL and rest of the hockey world to prepare you for the upcoming week that will see:

  • Two matinee games on Monday because it's Martin Luther King Day in the United States. The Philadelphia Flyers visit the New York Islanders at 1 p.m. ET followed by the Los Angeles Kings at Boston to face the Bruins at 3 p.m. ET.
  • The Presidents' Trophy-leading Anaheim Ducks return home to try to continue their tremendous 20-0-2 run at the Honda Center with Game No. 23 at home against the red-hot Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
  • All eyes will be on Martin St. Louis when the Tampa Bay Lightning resume their schedule at home against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. St. Louis has an eight-game point streak with eight goals and 12 points since he wasn't named to the Canadian Olympic team.
  • The outdoor-game mania continues in two of the most historic baseball stadiums on the weekend. The Kings will play host to the rival Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils clash at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

Mount Tortorella

I don't think there are many NHL coaches who would not have responded the way Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella did when he decided to go tough guy for tough guy to start the game against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

But to storm down the hall to the Flames dressing room in the first intermission was wrong and Tortorella should face a harsh suspension for his actions.

The fiery coach will face the music in New York on Monday. He likely will be fined substantially and should be hit with a long-term suspension of 10 or more games, in my opinion.

Flames head coach Bob Hartley should not escape punishment. He deserves to be fined, too. As he explained in his post-game remarks, Tortorella felt he had to protect his skilled players by putting his fourth line out to combat Calgary's fourth line.

This incident likely will be further debated at the NHL general manager meetings in Florida on Mar. 10. Interestingly, the Flames and Canucks next meeting will occur two days before those Florida meetings commence.

Wild Weekend

The Canucks-Flames brouhaha wasn't the only disturbing incident over the weekend. How about that late-game tying goal scored by the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday?

The replay clearly showed that a deflected shot from Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall hit the protective netting and bounded off the back of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and across the goal-line with 27 ticks left on the clock.

Even though Kings defenceman Drew Doughty immediately pointed to the sky, a signal players use to help officials when the puck goes off the netting, neither referee Rob Martell nor Dan O'Halloran or linesmen Don Henderson and Mike Cvik detected the puck went out of play. To the disbelief of many, this was not video reviewable.

There may not be a couple of happy teams if the Red Wings, who went on to win the game in a shootout, lasso the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference because of that extra two points.

All of a sudden, the agenda for the GM meetings has swelled.

Wild Weekend III

I'm wondering what sort of fallout from Toronto Maple Leafs sniper James van Riemsdyk's game-winning-goal antics will occur the next time they play the Montreal Canadiens. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until Mar. 1 in Montreal to find out.

Van Riemsdyk tugged on his Maple Leafs crest after his big goal on Saturday in the same manner Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban did two nights earlier with his overtime winner in Ottawa.

Van Riemsdyk explained afterwards that his actions were in response to Subban taunting the Maple Leafs bench after a Canadiens goal late in the first period. It was a neat heat-of-the-moment act, but if Subban fired up the Maple Leafs, I wonder if van Riemsdyk's celebration will have a similar effect in six weeks.

Jets fly

The early returns for Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice have been outstanding with three wins in three games. The Jets have outscored the opposition 13-5 under the new bench boss.

Maurice will coach the Jets for the remainder of the season. If, however, Maurice doesn't work out in Winnipeg, it will be interesting to see whether Dale Hawerchuk will make the jump from junior to the NHL, especially when you consider the improvement the Colorado Avalanche have exhibited under first-year head coach Patrick Roy this season.

The 50-year-old Hawerchuk maintains he's content with his current gig behind the Barrie Colts bench. But he's exhibited steady improvement in Barrie. He's steered a team that finished last overall in his first year to the OHL final last spring.

Mark Scheifele's development with the Jets this season is proof that Hawerchuk is a fine coach and good teacher.

A little off the top

Even Mark Barberio had to admit his locks were getting too long. But the Lightning rookie defenceman vowed not to get his hair cut until he scored his first NHL goal.

Well, that happened on Sunday evening. The 23-year-old native of Montreal, who had not cut his hair since January 2012, checked in with two goals in the Lightning's 5-3 win on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I think it's gotten a little too long," Barberio said of his shoulder-length locks. "It will be good to clean it up a bit."

The Lightning has done a nice job in developing Barberio, who was selected in the sixth round (152nd overall) of the 2008 NHL entry draft. An offensive defenceman in junior with the Moncton Wildcats, Barberio spent 257 regular-season and playoff games in three full years in the AHL before this season.

He won a Calder Cup under current Lightning head coach Jon Cooper in Norfolk two years ago and won the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL's best defenceman that season.

By the numbers

4-12-2 - Combined record for the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers in the New Year. Both teams have gone 2-6-1 in 2014.

8-1-0 - Record of the league-leading Ducks in 2014.

679 - Consecutive games for Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin, who left Saturday's game early with a suspected rib injury. Sedin's iron-man streak is the sixth longest in NHL history behind the record 964 consecutive games played by Doug Jarvis, followed by Gary Unger (914), Steve Larmer (884), Craig Ramsay (776) and current St. Louis Blues defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, who played in his 683rd straight game on Saturday.

42 - Faceoff wins out of 59 for a 71 per cent success rate in three games for Ottawa centre Zack Smith last week.

11:30 a.m. - The local start time for the Bruins-Blackhawks game in Chicago on Sunday in a game that was decided on Patrick Kane's shootout winner. It was the first meeting between last year's Stanley Cup finalists and the game didn't disappoint. It was fitting these teams failed to decide the outcome in overtime. Three games of their memorable six-game final extended to extra time last June.

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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