Brendan Smith’s parents had flown to New York to see their son play in the Garden on Monday against the islanders.
What they could do for a second.
This is because, after his first turn at 2:12, Smith received bad behavior in the game at 2:13 for participating in a secondary fight with Matt Martin. Referees Frederick L’Ecuyer and Steve Kozari applied Rule 46.7, which requires misconduct in the game for “any player who is severely penalized for fighting after the original altercation has begun.”
The fight happened after Micheal Haley had fought with Ross Johnston at 2:12. While the teams lined up for the next draw in front of the Islanders bank, Martin faced Smith just as line judge Tony Sericolo withdrew from releasing the disc to get Greg McKegg out of the circle.
Then, instead of fighting together with the raffle, the two fighters involuntarily violated the letter of the law. The referees, after a meeting with the line judges, approached the broken windows to watch. The point is that they could have excused Smith independently, because the rule does not grant discretion about the misconduct of the game if a player is the clear aggressor. That was Martin.
“I don’t blame Matt at all,” he told The Post Smith, who will have another chance against Martin and the islanders on Thursday at the Colosseum. “I know what he is trying to do for his team, trying to gain momentum, but what option do I have there? Or I let myself be defeated by not participating or I am expelled from the game if I do.
“Matt is trying to control me, he didn’t want to face me, and that’s fine, but I have to be able to protect myself and respond. I didn’t know the line judge was going to have a fake fall there. It was a consensual fight, no damage was done It’s not Matt’s fault, but I think I got it.
“I think Steve and Fred cost me a game, unfortunately.”
And Smith’s parents have the opportunity to see their son on the ice for more than a second.
Brendan Lemieux, sidelined for the last eight games since he suffered a broken left hand when he was hit by a disc on December 27, participated in the practice for the first time, but there is no timetable for his return. Lemieux has been skating through his rehabilitation process.
“He just cleared up, so day by day,” coach David Quinn said. “When we feel he is ready, he will enter.”
Pavel Buchnevich, who has been under the weather, lost the practice but is expected to play on Thursday.
Quinn explained the organization’s decision to send Libor Hajek to the AHL Wolf Pack on Tuesday. The 21-year-old defender suffered a sprained right knee on December 5 that set him aside for 16 games and just over a month before a return from a game in St. Louis last Saturday instead of the injured Marc Staal. Hajek was a healthy scratch on Monday.
“He lost a lot of hockey and probably wasn’t going to play much here before the break,” Quinn said, referring to the eight-day rest / rest period of the All-Star Game that begins next Wednesday. “Then you have the opportunity to play and play in some significant games, return to game mode.”
“He needs to regain his confidence. It puts a lot of pressure on itself. Each player is different, some boys will be able to intervene immediately and feel comfortable, but I think that with Libor’s situation it is better for him to go and play some games for Hartford. “
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