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Early in the second period of Monday's game between Los Angeles and Vancouver, Kings player Jake Muzzin hit Canuck Daniel Sedin with a high stick, knocking a tooth out. Sedin clearly showed the tooth to the referees, yet Muzzin received only a two-minute minor. Why was this not a double minor?
Shaun from Vancouver
As I watched Daniel Sedin take a high stick to the mouth and broke a tooth (at least now people can tell the two apart), shouldn't that be a double minor? My understanding of rule 60.3 regarding a double minor is that it is any injury should warrant a double minor and blood does not have to show.
When a player carries or holds any part of his stick above the shoulders of the opponent so that injury results, the Referee shall assess a double-minor penalty for all contact that causes an injury, whether accidental or careless, in the opinion of the Referee.
Could you explain why the referees didn't give Muzzin a double minor?
Shaun and Gareth:
Based on the physical evidence presented by Daniel Sedin to Referee Steve Kozari and the calm and accepting demeanor coach John Tortorella demonstrated in the explanation that followed, it's most obvious that a replacement crown became unglued as a result of the high stick committed by Jake Muzzin. The solid cap Daniel pulled out of his mouth does not constitute an injury.
On the other hand, if Sedin had spit out broken fragments of a tooth (crown) or even withheld solid evidence in his glove revealing a broken 'chicklet,' short of checking dental records the referee would have legitimate cause to assess a double minor penalty.
I found myself in this very situation in two different games played within a week of each other. Both times they involved Matthew Barnaby and his missing tooth. I wasn't aware that Barney had a capped front tooth. A stick came up near Barney's face and he immediately bent over and covered his mouth. By the time I got to him Matthew's big smile revealed a broken front tooth. I assessed a double minor penalty as a result of the apparent injury.
The very next week I worked another game involving the Buffalo Sabres player. During the National Anthem I noticed that Matt Barnaby was sporting a shiny silver crown. As good luck would have it, this time around I was in perfect position to see an errant stick clearly missed Barnaby's face and head. Once again, Matthew doubled over, grabbed his face and yanked the silver cap out of his mouth which he immediately concealed inside his glove. Barney then approached me and pointed to the same filed down remnants of a front tooth as he appealed for a double minor penalty to be called.
I now had legitimate reason to suspect I had been duped in the previous game. I told Matthew he had two problems with this attempt to sell a penalty call this time around. For one, the stick never touched him and two, his memory was obviously fuzzy since I was the same ref he pulled this on a week earlier. Matthew didn't dispute my claim and instead fished the shiny cap out of his glove, stuck it back in his mouth and gave me the smile of a 'choir boy'!
Fortunately for Referee Steve Kozari, Daniel Sedin didn't take a bite out of Barnaby's play book.