The Detroit Red Wings staged an incredible comeback to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. Too bad Wings head coach Derek Lalonde had to miss it.

Lalonde was given a game misconduct for a tirade directed at the officials after a failed Coach’s Challenge for goaltender interference.



A league review was required in order to first confirm that the puck crossed the line.  Once the goal was awarded, Lalonde issued a Coach’s Challenge, feeling that a poke from winger Jason Zucker pushed goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic and the puck over the line.

Following an extended look at the play, the Situation Room ruled that there was no goaltender interference on the play. The Penguins goal would stand.  Tie game.

Lalonde was furious.  He unloaded, launching an expletive-laden rant at referees Garrett Rank and Michael Markovic that resulted in his dismissal from the game.

“I was surprised [Lalonde was ejected]. I was standing pretty close to him,” said Red Wings associate coach Bob Boughner, who took over coaching duties for the remainder of the game. “Newsy is a pretty respectful guy and a well-liked guy around the league. He has a good rapport with all of the referees and the officials and linesman, so I was a little surprised by it. It was a heat of the moment thing.”

Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin was equally surprised by Lalonde’s departure.

“I think (the ejection) was pretty harsh with what the conversation was,” Larkin said. “I’ve seen much worse.”

Lalonde’s ejection appeared to light a fire under his club. They killed off the resulting penalty from the failed challenge. Detroit went on to score four of the game’s next five goals, led by a third-period hat trick from David Perron.

“After [Lalonde] got thrown out, I thought the guys came together and played hard, inspired hockey,” added Boughner.

Lalonde is the second coach to be ejected from a game this season.  San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn was ejected earlier this month; Quinn was also fined $25,000 for his comments, a punishment it appears Lalonde may have avoided.

Prior to Lalonde, the most recent Red Wings’ head coach ejection came to Jeff Blashill, during a 2018 loss to the Florida Panthers.

Over the past ten seasons, a total of fifteen games have seen coaches tossed:

Date Coach Game Referees
3/27/23 Derek Lalonde, DET DET vs. PIT Rank/Markovic
3/4/23 David Quinn, SJS SJS vs. WSH Dwyer/Schlenker
3/3/22 Jon Cooper, TBL TBL vs. PIT McCauley/Meier
10/29/19 Pete DeBoer, SJS SJS vs. BOS Rooney/L’Ecuyer
2/21/19 Mike Sullivan, PIT PIT vs. SJS Dwyer/Lambert
11/24/18 Pete DeBoer, SJS SJS vs. VGK Walsh/Rehman
3/24/18 Peter Laviolette, NSH NSH vs. MIN Dwyer/L’Ecuyer
2/3/18 Jeff Blashill, DET DET vs. FLA Dwyer/Rehman
12/31/17 Doug Weight, NYI NYI vs. COL Rooney/Kozari
1/13/17 Mike Sullivan, PIT PIT vs. OTT McCauley/Rank
2/18/16 Paul Maurice, WPG WPG vs. TBL St. Laurent/O’Rourke
2/13/16 Gerard Gallant, FLA FLA vs. NSH McCauley/Lee
10/2/13 Patrick Roy, COL COL vs. ANA Furlatt/St. Pierre
4/21/13 Pete DeBoer, NJD NJD vs. NYR Rooney/St. Laurent
4/18/13 Ken Hitchcock, STL STL vs. ARI Peel/Leggo

Officials in gray are retired.

If you’re keeping score at home, coach Pete DeBoer leads the way, with three ejections, trailed by Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan with two.  Referee Gord Dwyer’s worked the most games – four – that saw a coach get the boot, then McCauley and Rooney at three, followed by a four-way tie of L’Ecuyer, Rank, Rehman, and St. Laurent all with two. Of course, just by working a game, that doesn’t mean the official was the one involved in the exchange or who actually ejected the coach.

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by a final score of 7-4. Referees for the game were Garrett Rank (#7) and Michael Markovic (#31), with linesmen Kyle Flemington (#55) and Jonny Murray (#95).  The decision on the Coach’s Challenge for Goaltender Interference was made by the NHL’s Situation Room.