Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier apparently will face no supplemental discipline for his slashing incident Thursday with Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.
Lecavalier received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct with 8.5 seconds left in the first period of what turned out to be a 3-2 shootout loss for the Lightning.
In case you missed it, the two traded shoves, slashes and cross-checks for about 30 seconds before Lecavalier, after a slash across his wrist, turned and put a two-hander on Subban, who went to the ice hard, stayed down and then skated to the bench holding his left arm. The problem with that is Lecavalier's slash hit Subban in the left thigh. Either way, Lecavalier was out of the game.
Lots of problems with the way this was handled.
First of all, where the heck were the referees. The players are going at it for about 30 seconds right in front of them. Plenty of opportunities to send either or both off the ice with minor penalties and short-circuit what might have escalated into a dangerous confrontation. Instead, the confrontation gets violent and the game, and the Lightning, loses one of its marquee players because Subban, who came back for the second period and played enthusiastically for the rest of the game, put on an acting class.
Asked if he believed Subban milked it for the refs, Lecavalier said easily, "Oh, of course."
No excuse for Vinny to lose his cool like that, and Tampa Bay could have used him in what was a close, entertaining game. But his retaliation was not as bad as it might have been, and it was he who ended up with slash marks on his left wrist from Subban's stick work.