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In the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist slid to his left to make a save. That’s when his teammate Ryan McDonagh accidentally plowed into him, causing Lundqvist to lose his stick.
Lundqvist started scream down the ice at the officials. Moments later, he flipped his own goalie net to stop play, causing a two-minute minor for delay of game against the Rangers.
Take a longer look here:
— Scouting The Refs (@ScoutingTheRefs) March 4, 2016
Some saw this as an act of frustration, that the Penguins had “riled up” Lundqvist. The situation got stranger when Lundqvist didn’t appear on the Rangers’ bench in the third period.
But coach Alain Vigneault explained it after the game. Frustration? Yes, but not with the Penguins – with the referees.
Via Rangers Rants, we learn that Lundqvist had neck spasms after the collision:
“No, I didn’t know. Nobody knew,” Vigneault said. “I don’t think Hank made it very clear to the referee at that time also. We knew when we came in from the second he was having issues with his neck there but at that time, we didn’t.”
Vigneault was also asked if that’s the maddest he’s seen Lundqvist on the ice. “I think he was trying to tell the referee he was hurt,” Vigneault said. “I don’t know if the signals get crossed or what, obviously the referee didn’t pick up on it. He wasn’t feeling right at that time but he decided to stay in. But he couldn’t finish the game.”
So there you go: What better way to get the ref’s attention than to flip the net behind you?
Oh, wait, there’s also dropping to the ice in “agony” outside of his crease, which is the most sure-fire way for any goalie to get a stoppage in play. Which is probably what Lundqvist should have done here.
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