Jim Playfair's bat[Gretzky] reaction to having one of his players tossed from Saturday night's American Hockey League game between the Abbotsford Heat and Hamilton Bulldogs was definitely up there with the likes of former New Jersey Devils head coach Robbie Ftorek's bench tossing, Marty Raymond's "everything but the kitchen sink" tantrum with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL and Brent Sapergia's antics during a Southern Professional Hockey League game in Louisiana.
To set the scene, Abbotsford's J.D. Watt(notes) was chasing a puck into the corner and collided with Hamilton goaltender Cedrick Desjardins(notes). Referee Jamie Koharski (son of former NHL zebra Don) whistled a penalty on the play. As Watt was skating to the penalty box he learned that instead of an interference call he'd been assessed five minutes for charging, along with a game misconduct. Watt did not like the call to the extent that he needed to be escorted off the ice by a linesman. Koharski then skated over and explained the decision to Playfair, who took his disagreement with the call to another level:
Making head coaches go crazy officially runs in the Koharski family.
For Playfair's outburst, Abbotsford was given a two-minute bench minor for "abusive language" and the head coach was also given a game misconduct. After the game, Playfair explained to the Abbotsford News his issue with the call:
"It was the wrong call by the referee," said Playfair. "I think J.D. Watt is making a play, their goaltender comes out into the (faceoff) circle, (Watt) got pushed by a defenceman and (the goaltender) went down.
"By no means did he try and run this goaltender to deserve a five minute major so I disagreed with it and that's it."
Down 2-0 to Hamilton at that point, Playfair's ejection did nothing to fire up his team as Abbotsford ended up losing 4-0. It was a heated game from the beginning with two fights in the opening 11 minutes and 69 penalty minutes total handed out.
s/t to Jeff Marek of Hockey Night in Canada for the find
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- Jim Playfair