Rask and the AHL Providence Bruins lost in a shootout to the Albany River Rats, and he felt the referee jobbed him twice in the skills competition. Here's how the Bruins Blog saw it go down:
With the P-Bruins leading the shootout, 1-0, Albany's Jakub Petruzalek skated in on Rask, lost the puck, recovered and then hesitated before he fired a shot from the bottom of the left circle past a sprawled-out Rask. Much to everyone's surprise, the goal was counted.
Harrison Reed followed with a goal of his own tucked right under the crossbar for the game-winner to lift the Rats to a 1-0 victory. After the Reed goal, Rask chased referee Frederick L'Ecuyer toward the penalty box and then let his emotions out by slamming and tossing his stick and then chucking the milk crate.
"He went backwards and stopped the play and waited three seconds and then shot it," the Boston Bruins' prized prospect said after the game. "I guess the guy didn't believe it either because he stopped and then took the shot. As long as the ref doesn't blow the whistle, it's game on I guess."
This prompted a nuclear meltdown from Rask, who stumbled like a newborn fawn near the exit while slamming his stick against the glass; throwing his stick like a boomerang down the ice; and then launching an empty milk crate (!) onto the ice, because evidently the AHL wants its players to fight the early onset of osteoporosis. The classic tirade, in all its glory:
Tossing your stick (or sticks) on the ice is a grand tradition in ostentatious displays of hockey frustration. Inspired by
Tusken Raider Tuukka Rask, here are some other great moments in angry people tossing garbage on the ice.
First, a refresher on the NHL's rules against emptying your bench or hurling your equipment onto the playing surface in dissatisfaction:
53.3 Bench Minor Penalty - Should any player, goalkeeper, Coach, or non-playing person on the players' bench or penalty bench throw anything on the ice during the progress of the game or during a stoppage of play, a bench minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be assessed.
There is also Rule 40.3, which bans anyone on the bench from banging "the boards with a stick or other object at any time, showing disrespect for an official's decision." Wonder if the AHL has a similar rule, and how that applies to a goalie that clumsily falls down while attempting to smash his stick against the glass after the final buzzer.
Throwing the stick? That's fine. But we enjoy angry people that deal in volume.
Sticks On The Ice
This is the coach of the Muskegon Lumberjacks, asking the officials to play a game of pick-up-sticks against Quad City in 2007. This is also an example of pure laziness; is that even enough sticks for a starting lineup?
And if you're angry, launch a bunch of those things like center ice-seeking missiles. Don't just plop them down like a kid with his Tinkertoys. How do expect to make the refs and the fans understand your searing inner turmoil without a symbolic hate javelin cutting through the arena air?
Gatorade and Dry-Erase Board on the Ice
NOW we're talking! Toss a forest's worth of lumber! Bounce off the neutral zone your seemingly useless dry-erase board used for diagramming plays that don't work! Topple a large container of Gatorade over the boards!
This was Bakersfield Condors Coach Marty Raymond (still there!) subtly expressing his frustration in a game last season against the Fresno Falcons (R.I.P.). The whole thing sort of plays out like a Mick Foley wrestling match, as each new prop is introduced to the roar of the crowd. Gotta love the way the Gatorade tub lingers on the boards before going over. Sorry, Tuukka, but that trumps an empty milk crate.
Bench on the Ice
Ah, Robbie Ftorek. Frustrated by a non-call by the referees on a dangerous hit, the man behind the New Jersey Devils bench literally threw the New Jersey Devils bench onto the ice. In the pantheon of tossing tirades, this has to be near the pinnacle, because you really have to want to make a statement to start throwing furniture around. Ask Bobby Knight.
Ftorek received a one-game suspension and a $10,000 fine for his actions. Lou Lamoriello was reportedly very upset, because as Devils GM he wasn't used to seeing something that wooden become suddenly so interesting.
Smoke Bomb on the Ice
OK, this classic moment from a Philadelphia Flyers/New Jersey Devils game wasn't something tossed by a coach or a player. But as TLP suggested in this morning's What We Learned, stink/smoke bombs on the bench are a natural progression for coaches seeking to motivate their players. We're actually a little stunned Mike Keenan hasn't tried this yet.
And really, what's going to get the message across better from disgruntled coach to the officiating crew: A bunch of sticks that dribble over the boards, or a smoldering mass at center ice that smells like the Jersey Turnpike just cut one?
Back to Rask for a moment: The Goalie Guild blog believes he actually had a legitimate gripe after the shootout:
But what it really comes down to is whether or not Rask got a piece of the puck on the poke-check. If he did, it's a save and the goal shouldn't have counted. I can't tell for sure from watching the clip whether or not Rask got a piece of it because of the low-resolution, but it sure looks like the puck travels slightly backwards and then Petruzalek regains possession. So that follow-up shot was a rebound effort...and therefore shouldn't have counted.
Then there's the "forward progress" issue on a shootout attempt, all of which reinforces how silly the skills competition is.
Luckily for us, both goals counted and Tuukka got angry. We like to see him when he's angry.
Thanks to NYR34, Kris, Caitlin, John, Ty and Robert, among others for the Rask video tips.
- Tuukka Rask