The NHL announced Thursday that Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen
was fined $2,000 for embellishment (diving) in an April 30 game against San Jose.
The incident took place at 7:21 of the second period after he was tripped by Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro
, who was assessed a minor penalty.
I could never understand this diving rule when a player has been tripped or hooked. To me, it should be one or the other, not both.
Anyway, the league said it was Rantanen’s second citation, that he was given a warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during a game against Arizona on March 23.
According to the release, “NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Fines are assessed to players and head coaches on a graduated scale.”
A head coach will be fined if a player or team is flagged four times, with each succeeding citation resulting in another fine.
Citations are issued by the NHL Hockey Operations Department, which tracks all games, logs all penalties for diving or embellishment, and flags all plays not called on the ice that in its opinion were deserving of such a penalty.
The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The Avalanche blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 in San Jose on Wednesday and have fallen four points behind first-place Vegas in the West Division with five games remaining.
Their hold on second place has been cut to one point by third-place Minnesota, which gained a point with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Golden Knights.
Here’s my NHL.com GAME RECAP.
Center Alex Newhook
, a first-round pick (No. 16) in the 2019 NHL draft, had one shot on goal and was plus-1 in 13:20 of ice time in his NHL debut Wednesday.
He wore jersey No. 18 while centering Nazem Kadri
and Andre Burakovsky
“He made some smart puck plays, good decisions with the puck,” coach Jared Bednar
said after the game. “He didn’t have any turnovers. I thought that line was pretty good. It looked like they had a little bit of chemistry.”
Defenseman Jacob MacDonald
had an assist in 14:58 after missing the previous seven games with a lower-body injury.
The Avalanche had an optional skate Thursday in Los Angeles, where they’ll play the Kings on Friday and Saturday.
Defenseman Bowen Byram
and forward Brandon Saad
remain in Colorado. Bednar said Thursday that he’s hopeful one or both could play against the Kings next Wednesday or Thursday in Denver in the final two regular-season games.
Byram has missed the past 19 games and is rehabbing an upper-body injury; he also missed time due to COVID-19 protocol in this stretch. Saad has missed the past six games with a lower-body injury.
“I would say there’s even a possibility maybe we can get them back, one or both, hopefully by the end of the week, but it’s just too hard to predict right now,” Bednar said. “In an ideal world, I’d love to have them both back for the L.A. games at home, or at least one of them.
“After missing some time that can be difficult as well, but if they can get in for the playoffs that’d be fantastic.”