Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft was ejected from his team’s 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks for comments directed at the officials.
Woodcroft was tossed with 6:47 remaining in the third period of Tuesday night’s game in Vancouver. The final straw came with the Oilers on the power play, when Woodcroft baked at the refs following a hard hit on Dylan Holloway.
Woodcroft was already having a touch night with the stripes, frustrated over earlier plays including a disallowed goal that was kicked in by Warren Foegele early in the third period.
“We thought was a fair goal,” the Edmonton head coach said. “Apparently, there was conclusive evidence to overturn it. It didn’t go our way after that.”
You could say that. The Oilers became increasingly frustrated, with the entire top lin in the penalty box together. Zach Hyman went off for roughing Vancouver’s J.T. Miller. On the very next shift, both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl picked up penalties: a roughing minor for the captain and a ten-minute misconduct for his wingman.
“The guy turns into me and I keep going, and they call a penalty,” McDavid said of the call against him. “That wasn’t frustration, that was just trying to play hockey. [Referee] Kelly [Sutherland] obviously saw something that he felt was a penalty.”
Woodcroft went back and forth with referees Kevin Pollock and Kelly Sutherland all night, but it was his late third-period remark that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and got him tossed.
What did Woodcroft say?
“I asked about the play on Holloway,” Woodcroft said of his exchange with referee Kevin Pollock. “It wasn’t profanity-laced or anything like that. It was a question. It wasn’t well received when I asked the question. In the end, I’ve gotta be better. I cant take a penalty to put our team down.”
“The reason I asked that question: I thought it was similar to the [roughing] penalty that McDavid took [against Pius Suter] to go down to 4-on-3. I thought it was a fair question. He didn’t.”
Woodcroft picked up a bench minor for the unsportsmanlike conduct, cutting the Oilers’ power play short and putting the teams 4-on-4 before a brief man advantage for the Canucks.
“I didn’t think it crossed the line at all but sometimes the way you send a message or ask a question, the way it’s received might be not in the manner you intended,” said Woodcroft. “In the end, I’ve gotta be better. Can’t ask that question, apparently.”
The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-2. Referees for the game were Kelly Sutherland (#11) and Kevin Pollock (#33), with linespersons Travis Gawryletz (#67) and Derek Nansen (#70).