King defenseman Marty McSorley and Maple Leaf center Doug Gilmour were at it again.
Gilmour, who was elbowed during a check by McSorley in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 victory over the Kings in Game 1 of the Campbell Conference finals Monday night, tried to butt McSorley behind the net late in the first period of the Kings’ 3-2 victory in Game 2 Wednesday night at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Under NHL rules, a butt is supposed to be penalized by a game misconduct, which carries an automatic ejection and a five-minute major penalty. However, referee Don Koharski said Gilmour didn’t make contact with McSorley and penalized Gilmour and McSorley two minutes each for roughing.
Informed that Koharski said there was no contact, McSorley looked at reporters in disbelief and said, “Wow.”
Gilmour denied butting McSorley.
“That was no head butt,” Gilmour said. “I just walked into him. If you watched the play, there was a lot of pushing and shoving. We were head to head.”
Maple Leaf Coach Pat Burns charged that McSorley punched Gilmour before the incident.
“Are we going to talk about the punch first?” Burns said. "(Koharski) didn’t see that. Well, I’ll show it to you. Koharski had his head turned and McSorley punches him in the head and that’s what started everything.”
King General Manager Nick Beverley said Gilmour should have been ejected and added he will ask the NHL office to review a videotape of the incident.
“Everybody saw it,” Beverley said. “All we can do is ask for a review. Rules are rules.
“To paraphrase (Burns), if Marty McSorley would have done it, he would have been out of the game. The referee made the decision. I’m not criticizing it.”
Said Dave Newell, NHL supervisor of officials: “First of all, we have to take the view of the people on the ice because they were really on top of it and they obviously had the best view.
“In the opinion of all three officials, and all three were right there, there wasn’t any contact whatsoever.”
King Coach Barry Melrose and sportscaster Don Cherry of the Canadian Broadcasting Company are as fond of each other as McSorley and Gilmour.
Cherry was not subtle in his disparaging remarks about Melrose before a Canada-wide TV audience during the game.
“He was a candy . . . as a player and he’s a candy . . . as a coach,” said Cherry, who also criticized Melrose’s haircut during a TV commentary.
“I’ve heard the only reason he has long hair is because his father likes short hair,” said Cherry, who likened Melrose’s haircut to that of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, which he pronounced Cyprus .
Cherry was angry because Melrose ordered the Kings not to give any taped interviews to Cherry, who was snubbed by Tony Granato and McSorley, who refused pregame interview requests.
However, King publicist Rick Minch said he never relayed Melrose’s instructions to the players, who apparently decided to boycott Cherry for one game.
The Kings are angry at Cherry because he kissed Gilmour during a TV interview after the series opener. The feud started when Cherry called Tomas Sandstrom a “ChickenSwede” after Gilmour broke Sandstrom’s arm during a regular-season game last November. Cherry also said that Sandstrom deserved it.
“Don Cherry can kiss whoever he wants, but I’m not sure that ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ should be cheering for one team over another,” Melrose said. “ ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ is part of the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and we have just as many Canadians on the L.A. Kings.”