Desjardins: 'They just saw something different'
SAN JOSE - The NHL has already rescinded Andrew Desjardins’ match penalty against Chicago on Tuesday night, according to NHL supervisor of officials Mick McGeough, who was in attendance.
Desjardins was issued a match penalty and ejected from the game at 8:48 of the second period for a hit to the head on the Blackhawks’ Jamal Mayers, but replays showed the hit was shoulder-to-shoulder.
Linesman Jonny Murray made the call.
“The way the linesman saw it on the ice, he was convinced it was a major penalty,” McGeough said. “Unfortunately, he was wrong. It’s been overruled, taken care of the by the league and Brendan Shanahan and the safety committee, and there are no more issues right now.”
Desjardins said: “I saw the puck come up, and just made a hit. It’s a fast game, I guess they just saw something different. It looked good to me, but that’s the way the game goes.”
Sharks head coach Todd McLellan was still upset about the call after the 5-3 loss to Chicago. Shortly after the penalty, Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal during a four-on-four situation.
“It was a terrible call. I don’t know if we were going to be able to come back or not, but at that point we were still in the game and we had every opportunity to win, and probably should have been on a four-minute power play,” McLellan said. “It was an awful call.”
"That’s a good hockey play. That’s what we all want to see. Jamal Mayers is a great human being, he spent a year here and nobody wants to see him get hurt. But that was a good hockey hit.
“The linesman that called it was on the line calling offsides. Nobody else saw it. I think that we, right now, are going to err as a league in calling those penalties automatically when we shouldn’t. The league can take care of it afterward if it was a bad hit, but if you can’t see it, you can’t make it up.”
Mayers, who took several moments to get to his feet after getting flatted by the Sharks’ second-year center, thought the hit was dirty.
“It was a hit to the head,” Mayers said. “I’m not sure if it was elbow or forearm, or whatever it was. We’re trying to get that out of our game. It’s unfortunate that happened. But, we got a power play out of it, and most importantly we won the game."
Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith fought with Desjardins after the hit, and was issued minor penalties for instigation and instigation with a visor, nullifying all but a minute of Desjardins' penalty.
“That’s just kind of inevitable," Desjardins said of the fight.
The blown call was admitted to McLellan just before the start of the third period.
“They told Todd it was the wrong call, and I’ve told Todd it was the wrong call," McGeough said.