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Cody McLeod did as agitators and enforcers do on Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild.
The Colorado Avalanche forward trash-talked his opponents. He crashed the net, pushing the puck and Devan Dubnyk’s pad over the goal line for a controversial Avalanche tally. And at the end of the game, he got a little wacky.
With four seconds left in the game, and the Wild en route to a 3-1 win, coach Patrick Roy put McLeod on the ice. He bulldozed Mikael Granlund off the faceoff, and then engaged Charlie Coyle – of the two career fights – as he dropped the gloves and went after the Minnesota forward.
On his way to the dressing room, McLeod jawed with the Minnesota bench, sparking a few contentious moments between the Wild and Avs players. (Gabriel Landeskog was given a 10-minute misconduct for shouting at the Wild players, and trying to engage them physically.)
McLeod was hit with a fighting major, an unsportsmanlike conduct and a misconduct penalty. Please note: He was not given an instigator penalty, which would have carried an automatic suspension.
After the game, the Wild were rather disgusted by the whole thing. From the Star Tribune, coach Mike Yeo on McLeod and Patrick Roy:
There are rules in place to prevent what McLeod did, but you need the refs to actually call it.
“That’s garbage is what it is,” Yeo said of McLeod’s antics. “You feel it was going that way all game long. They were obviously very emotional all game long. In an emotional type of game, we did a good job of keeping our focus and I really think that was the difference in the end.”
Asked what he thought of Roy putting out McLeod, Yeo said, “We’ve seen the league respond to things like this. There’s rules in place to try to prevent things like that and I’m quite certain that they’ll take a good long look at that.”
The Avalanche, meanwhile, were upset that Sean Bergenheim appeared to give Nathan MacKinnon a head shot during the game, breaking his nose. Upon further review, the hit was much less egregious than it was in real time, and MacKinnon returned to the game. MacKinnon's own stick appeared to do the damage.
"I looked at it and to me it's clearly a head shot," Roy said. "I don't understand why there's no call. Even you call Toronto, Toronto should have seen that."