The Philadelphia Flyers captain says he was so angry after Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay that he left the arena without talking to the media to avoid a possible fine for criticizing officials.
With 4:10 left in the third period and the Flyers trailing 3-2, Forsberg was whistled for a high-sticking penalty. When he argued the call, he was assessed a double minor for high-sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct, plus a 10-minute misconduct, knocking him out of the game for the final minutes.
“I was just so mad, I knew I was going to get fined if I said anything,” Forsberg said Friday after practice.
Forsberg says he was frustrated because the referees didn’t called a penalty on a Tampa player for hooking him just before he was whistled for high-sticking.
“You want to win the game; you’re so close,” Forsberg said. “We battled back and it could have been a huge win. It’s pretty frustrating.
“I don’t usually criticize the refs, but it’s tough when you try to do your best and you don’t get a fair chance.”
The Flyers are off to a disappointing 3-8-1 start and Forsberg admits that might have played a role in the outburst.
“I don’t think it’s a good thing that I took the penalties,” he said. “But at least we showed emotion in the third period. We tried to come back.”
The Flyers again struggled early. They have been outscored 34-15 in the first two periods this season.
“It seems like we win one game and the next game we come back and we don’t play as hard as we should,” he said. “If we’re going to make some progress in the standings, we have put some good games together. We’re putting ourselves in deep holes before the third periods. We have to make sure we have better starts so we’re not that deep in the hole.”
Flyers coach John Stevens didn’t approve of Forsberg taking the late penalties, but he admitted the show of emotion might have been a good thing.
“The frustration kind of gathered there,” Stevens said. “You don’t want to put your team in that situation, but he did show emotion, that he cared. He just didn’t go away quietly.”
“I do think there are some positives in that. But there’s a fine line between the passion and discipline. We need to find that fine line.”