MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens are calling for an NHL rule change after defenceman Francis Bouillon suffered a shoulder injury from a hit in the dying seconds of overtime.
The Canadiens feel that Pittsburgh defenceman Sergei Gonchar should not have been allowed to take part in a shootout after he was called for boarding with 1.6 seconds left in the five-minute overtime in Montreal’s 4-3 win over the Penguins on Saturday night.
Bouillon suffered an unspecified left shoulder injury and is listed as day-to-day. Josh Gorges was to take his place in a game Tuesday night against Atlanta.
“I think if you take a penalty with less than two minutes to go in overtime, you shouldn’t be allowed to take a penalty shot,” said Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau. “I think that makes sense.
“Now the general managers and these guys in the NHL have to figure it out.”
Gonchar was called for boarding after slamming Bouillon from behind. After serving the penalty, he was the sixth of eight Pittsburgh shooters who failed to score on goaltender Carey Price in the shootout, won 1-0 by Montreal on its eight shot by Andrei Markov.
The Canadiens did not call for any fine or suspension against Gonchar, even if they felt it was a cheap hit.
But Carbonneau compared it to the hit from behind on Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Saturday that earned a two-game suspension for Philadelphia defenceman Randy Jones. Bergeron is out with a concussion and a broken nose.
“With one second left in the game. that’s as stupid as they come,” said Carbonneau. “But sometimes you get frustrated. Something happens during the game. You can’t control those thngs.”
Bouillon’s defence partner Mark Streit was on the ice when the hit occurred.
“He made the play and got hit from behind,” said Streit, who also feels penaltized players shouldn’t take part in shootouts. “He was very close to the boards – that’s probably why it’s not the same as what happened to Bergeron.
“But it was a hit from behind. You should respect your opponent more. That was a cheap shot.”