The Kings lost Wayne Simmonds for, essentially, an entire period last night after Simmonds went after Mark Stuart for Stuart’s hit on Anze Kopitar in the second period. Simmonds got 19 minutes’ worth of penalties, made worse by the fact that Simmonds got an extra penalty for wearing a face shield (Simmonds said Stuart cut his hand on Simmonds’ shield).
But even though Simmonds had to sit and watch for 19 minutes, during a time when the game almost got away from the Kings, Terry Murray said he had no regrets about Simmonds’ actions in defending a teammates.
MURRAY: “Absolutely. That’s exactly it. I didn’t like the pass that came up to Kopi, but that’s the culture that you have to have on your hockey club. We’ve talked about that many times, through last year, and the right stuff that’s been done several different times. This is the right call on his part. I know there’s an instigator rule, because of the shield, and that makes it a little harder, but there’s no question that I liked the response.”
Murray was clear in saying that he thought Stuart’s hit was clean, but said that didn’t matter in terms of coming to a teammate’s defense…
MURRAY: “They’re hitting one of your best players. It’s an impact hit. It’s a hit that could injure a player. But overall, with the hit, there was nothing wrong with it. But we’ve got to make sure we’re doing the right things for our players.”