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:
|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.