Ryan O’Reilly leads the Colorado Avalanche in goal scoring, with 26 in 72 games this season. Pretty impressive.
Even more impressive: Through his 1400+ minutes of ice-time, O’Reilly managed to avoid spending any time in the penalty box. That is, until Saturday afternoon, when the San Jose Sharks came to town.
O’Reilly, though, is ever the gentleman. His penalty wasn’t for slashing, tripping, or cross-checking. His penalty wasn’t against any other player on the ice. No, O’Reilly violated Rule 10.3, Playing with a Broken Stick. Here’s the play:
The referees for the game were Gord Dwyer (#19) and Chris Lee (#28). The play happened right in front of linesman Trent Knorr (#63).
O’Reilly’s stick was snapped on the defensive zone faceoff. Holding just the shaft of his stick, O’Reilly kicked the puck towards the boards before dropping the broken twig. That was enough play to earn him his first trip to the sin bin this season.
“That’s an unfortunate penalty,” said O’Reilly. “I’m glad to have it over with.”
Prior to Saturday’s call, OReilly’s last penalty was April 21, 2013, when he tripped St. Louis Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold.
Here’s O’Reilly, talking about his first penalty minutes of the year:
In case you’re wondering, Butch Goring holds the record of 78 games – the entire 1980-81 season – without committing an infraction (or at least without getting caught for it).