Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug was tossed from Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning for shooting a puck at the linesman.
The ejection came with 1:38 remaining in the penalty-filled third period of Wednesday night’s game, with the Bruins trailing 7-1.
Boston was whistled for an offside. Krug, visibly frustrated, shot the puck at linesman Steve Barton on the opposite side of the ice. Barton kicked out his skate to avoid getting hit.
The Boston defenseman was given a 10-minute misconduct.
It could’ve been worse.
Rule 40 could have seen him automatically suspended for three games.
Any player who … in any manner attempts to injure an official [or] physically demeans [an official] … shall receive a game misconduct penalty.
Automatic Suspension – Category III – Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically threatens an official by (but not limited to) … shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official … shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.
The automatic suspension only applies when the game misconduct is called during the game.
Instead, Krug was given a misconduct penalty under Rule 39:
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.
That’s not to say that the NHL can’t come after Krug with additional disciplinary measures, but based on the strength of the shot – and Barton’s avoidance of the puck – don’t expect them to.
Refs Wes McCauley and Eric Furlatt handed out 52 penalty minutes on the night — 32 of those coming in the third period. Linesmen for the game were Steve Barton and Devin Berg.