Lehtonen Loses Control After Controversial OT Loss
Saturday night was not very kind to Kari Lehtonen and the Dallas Stars.
The Stars would lose 7-6 to the Detroit Red Wings in overtime, but it was how the game got to that point that had Lehtonen, Jamie Benn, and coach Lindy Ruff fuming.
As the score shows, it was a very open-ended affair. The Red Wings climbed back from two separate two goal deficits in the third period – a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1932.
On the Red Wings 6th goal, the Stars believed that Lehtonen was bumped into by Justin Abdelkader on the play, and the goal should not have counted. Intentional or not, the replay makes it look quite obvious:
Lehtonen was clearly interfered with on the play, which brings the issue of video review for cases of goaltender interference to the forefront once again. The play is not currently reviewable, and the goal stood.
Coach Ruff was up in arms for a while after, but the game continued on to overtime.
In overtime, less than a minute in, Niklas Kronwall walked through the middle of the slot and beat Lehtonen with a backhand shot through his armpit on the blocker side. Lehtonen finally had enough and absolutely snapped:
Lehtonen not only nearly hit the official with his stick, he also stared him down for a long time.
Benn and Ruff did not mince any words when speaking to the media after the game.
On Detroit’s game-tying goal, Jamie Benn said “It was a joke.” Lindy Ruff said it was “inexcusable” and “ruined a hell of a hockey game.”
— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 22, 2015
It certainly stings to lose any game like that, but especially when it occurs right in the middle of a heated playoff battle. Lehtonen has been inconsistent throughout the year, and a loss like this could shatter his confidence even more. With an ugly incident like this, it sure looks like the pressure is getting to him.
There has been no word yet if Lehtonen will face any supplemental discipline for his actions.
What do you think? Did Lehtonen’s actions cross the line? Do you think goaltending interference calls, or non-calls should be subject to video review? Let us know in the comments!