PITTSBURGH – Don Cherry again ripped the NHL over the automatic penalty given to players who shoot the puck over the glass, a call that helped cost Canada gold at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Speaking shortly after Rick Nash’s delay of game penalty led to Ilya Kovalchuk’s overtime winner in Canada’s 5-4 loss to Russia in the gold-medal game Sunday, Cherry ranted that the rule was ruining games.
The rule came into effect for the 2005-06 NHL season.
“The National Hockey League, the reason they put this in, this goofy stupid rule, is because they said players were tired and they were shooting it in the stands,” an emotional Cherry said during his Coach’s Corner segment on a national television station. “If the guy knows he’s getting a penalty, would he shoot it in the stands? Some fool in the National Hockey League had nothing to do (but) come up with that stupid rule and it’s cost series.”
Nash was clearing the puck from his own end when he mistakenly flipped it into the stands. Kovalchuk won the game 47 seconds later.
“Now you’re going to say, ‘If it had have been the Russians, the other way around,’ no,” said Cherry. “I don’t want to win like that, I wouldn’t want Canada to win like that. Some fool, some idiot in the National Hockey League come up with that rule, and it’s killing us with the dumb rule and costing us games and a world tournament and Stanley Cups.”
Asked how he would tweak the rule, Cherry barked: “They’re too stupid to get rid of it.”