The Tampa Bay Lightning fell victim to a rough patch of officiating late in their 4-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils Thursday night. With just over six minutes to go, Martin St. Louis was called for hooking. It may have been a bad call. Then, just 20 seconds into the powerplay, the officials missed a Devils' icing call, and as Adam Hall attempted to shoot the puck the length of the ice, his stick caught Travis Zajac on the follow-through. He got a penalty for that too.
It was at that moment that Guy Boucher, having seen enough, decided to mock the officials with what we here on the good ship Internet call a "derp face". The entire sequence is packaged in the video below, but the moment that will change your life is at 1:50.
Incredible. Be sure to take a moment to appreciate the gif as well.
Unsurprisingly, Boucher was tagged with an abuse of officials penalty because, as it turns out, making faces at the officiating crew is unsportsmanlike. (This is bad news for Jonathan Toews, who spends a lot of time around officials because he's a captain, and really can't help but make ridiculous faces all the time.)
The Devils would score twice on the ensuing powerplay, putting the game out of reach.
Boucher was asked about his protest after the game, but he refrained from voicing rather than showing his displeasure. "I will certainly not comment on that," he said.
Still, the motivation for face was clear as day in his next answer regarding the two penalties that preceded it. "I didn't see any penalties," he grumbled. "I didn't see anything. I just watched the video again. I didn't see anything. I guess I'll have to look at it another 20 times." Then, again, he refrained from saying something that would get him fined. "But I'm not gonna comment on the penalties."
At least not verbally.
Between this and that coach that did the blind guy act a couple weeks back, I'm hoping that entering into a golden age of innovative but silent officiating protests. If a coach is looking for inspiration, the towel on a stick is always a safe bet.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney
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