Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter feels like his club got the short end of the stick against the Leafs due to the calls mad by the officials.
Eleven penalties were called in the game – seven against Calgary, including a high-sticking double-minor on Noah Hanifin and an overtime hooking call on Jonathan Huberdeau. Toronto was whistled for four infractions.
“Well, that’s one thing I learned about a long time ago. When you’re in Chicago all those years, and you come into Toronto, you know what goes on,” Sutter said after the game. “I won’t say nothing more…”
“Do you think they were all penalties tonight? I don’t.”
The Leafs went 3-for-6 on the power play, while the Flames were 1-for-2.
One of those man-advantage markers came in the extra session, when Toronto’s Mitch Marner took advantage of the Huberdeau penalty to score the game-winner.
The Maple Leafs won the game 5-4. Referees were T.J. Luxmore (#21) and Michael Markovic (#31), with linesmen Scott Cherrey (#50) and Caleb Apperson (#77).
“Obviously, the penalties hurt us a bit,” said Calgary’s Noah Hanifin, who picked up three penalties in the game. “They have a very good power play and a lot of high-end skill, so you don’t want to give them those opportunities.”
“Sometimes, when you’re in a battle like that and it’s such a hard-fought game, sometimes things happen and you get caught,” added Hanifin. “It’s something we obviously want to avoid.”
As far as whether the calls were legit? The Vladar trip and Hanifin hold also looked rather clear cut. There’s little room to debate the three high-sticking calls. Even JOnathan Huberdeau fessed up to his OT stickwork.
“Kinda lost my stick, goes into his face,” said Huberdeau. “We took a lot of penalties and then I do that in overtime. We’ve got to be a little smarter with our sticks…and in battle.”
The Calgary bench boss may be frustrated by the stripes, but he may also be looking to deflect attention – and blame – and try to rally his club, currently off to a 13-11-4 start, including back-to-back losses.
Sutter’s comments may be enough to draw a fine from the league’s offices.
The NHL handed out $75,000 in fines to coaches last season after a post-game incident from the Stars’ Rick Bowness, and comments directed toward the officiating from Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour and Nashville’s John Hynes.
A History of Fines: NHL Coaches Charged For Criticizing Officials