Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher says NHL's fine on Dominic Moore was right decision
Despite what NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said was a replay angle that showed Tampa Bay Lightning center Dominic Moore did not hit Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko with a shoulder shot to the head, Moore was fined anyway, $2,500, because of what Shanahan called "an intentional interference that caused injury."
Lightning coach Guy Boucher said that was the right call even though the replay cited by the league showed Moore's shoulder hitting Fedotenko's stick and the stick cracking Fedotenko across the face. Fedotenko is out of today's game with the Flyers.
"When I looked at the clip, it's not something you want to see, but it was nothing that was premeditated," Boucher said, and added about the fine, "I think it's the right thing to do. Sometimes you can avoid those contacts, especially it wasn't necessarily getting the puck and all that. It' an interference call, but they see it more as an aggressive interference call. They just want to warn the player, I think."
The incident came early in the third period of Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Rangers. Moore said he simply tried to establish position to be available to take a shot and did not know with whom he was engaged. That's an important point because moments earlier Fedotenko had drilled Moore into the boards. Moore said he was not trying to retaliate, but Rangers' forward Brian Boyle told New York reporters he heard Moore threatening to do just that.
Moore on Friday denied that -- "I don't talk much on the ice" -- and reiterated he did not know he was engaged with Fedotenko. "It's just one of those plays. You're competing for space and he came to check me and I tried to hold my ground. ... I was paying attention to the play. You get a pass. You see someone coming to check you, you just want to hold your ground."
More stuff from the morning skate: Mathieu Garon gets the start in net for the Lightning. ... Left wing Ryan Malone (upper body) is "good to go," Boucher said. But the coach added he is unsure if Malone will play. "A game-time decision," Boucher said. "The last time he came back he was fine, too, and he got injured pretty much the same way, so I tend to be a little more cautious this time. We've lost him for so long, if we wait three, four more days to be 100 percent sure, we might just do that, but we'll see." ... Seems as if defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and right wing Adam Hall also will be out. Both played one game after returning from extended injuries -- Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Kings -- but Boucher said the reason they will sit is he is sticking with a lineup that is on a 6-0-2 streak. The one loss to Los Angeles came when he altered the lineup. "For some reasons you have chemistry and you have to ride it," Boucher said. "I made the mistake in one game of not riding them and that mistakes was against LA. It's a lineup that fought together and created some stuff and had some chemistry, and I don't want to touch that right now."