A few days back, Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetzov found a unique way to hand the puck to the linesman. On Sunday, a frustrated Brent Burns opted not to hand it off at all.
After a whistle for playing the puck with a high stick, Burns swatted the puck back into the Devils zone.
With the faceoff slated to take place at the far end of the ice, linesman Steve Barton was not happy. He sent the bearded blueliner to fetch the puck.
Burns laughed as he skated away before finally relenting and picking up the puck. He exchanged words with Barton and referee Justin St. Pierre as he lined up for the defensive zone draw.
Sure, Burns may have thought it was funny and that Barton was busting his chops, but there is a possible case for a penalty call per the NHL rulebook:
39.4 Misconduct Penalty – Misconduct penalties shall be assessed under this rule for the following infractions:
(ii) Any player who intentionally knocks or shoots the puck out of the reach of an official who is retrieving it.
Of course, without knowing what went on in their discussion – or anything that preceded it – it’s hard to say what sparked Barton’s frustration with Burns.