Coyotes D Keith Yandle accuses Tampa Bay Lightning D Pavel Kubina of "dirty" hit
Amidst what Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos called "our best defensive team effort" in Saturday night's 3-0 victory over the Coyotes was a dangerous collision between Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina and Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, who called the hit by Kubina "dirty."
Kubina received a two-minute penalty with 7:06 left in the third period for the knee-to-knee hit, and then had to fight Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who retaliated. After the game, Yandle told reporters he had no doubt in his mind Kubina stuck his knee out to initiate the hit.
"It was such a dirty hit," Yandle said. "He sticks his knee out deliberately. I had him wide and he stuck his knee out deliberately. There's no room in the game for that."
But Kubina, who said he had not yet watched a replay of the hit, said there was no intent.
"No, not at all," he said. "I didn't try to knee the guy. I was going to back up first and then I tried to hit him and he skated right into me. That's all I can say."
Beyond that, give the Lightning credit for a terrific defensive effort that included 19 blocked shots. And while Dan Ellis gets lots of credit for the shutout, coach Guy Boucher said it was a team goose egg.
"You know, I've been talking since the beginning about having that 60-minute of our type of game," he said. "Defensively, we finally got it. I know it's a shutout, it's easy to say because your goaltender is outstanding. I thought our goaltender was good tonight, but I think the way the team played defensively was great. We had moments like that against all the teams, we just didn't do that for 60 minutes, so that was out goal here. On this trip we want to make sure we're solid defensively."
I also liked this quote from Boucher about the Lightning goals from Mattias Ritola and Adam Hall that went off the skates of Coyotes defensemen.
"That's what we want," he said. "That's what we practice. We practice those type of goals, pucks on net, guys there, wraparounds. We practice ugly goals. We practice scrambling goals."