Linesman and referees don’t have it easy.
Things can get really tough when officiating a hockey game. As an official, it’s part of your job to go deep in the trenches and try to stop scrums. Usually, intervening in a potential dust-up doesn’t have negative consequences, but last night a linesman got punched in the face when doing so.
In last night’s Los Angeles Kings vs Colorado Avalanche matchup with the Kings on a power play, some rough stuff started to happen after a whistle. As players swung their arms in a scrum, Milan Lucic was trying to bait Colorado’s Cody McLeod and threw a punch at him. One problem, Lucic not only made contact with his intended target, but he also inadvertently punched linesman Jay Sharrers. The punch clearly wasn’t meant for the linesman, but Lucic recklessly swung his arm not realizing Sharrers was in the vicinity. I doubt Lucic gets suspended (he wasn’t penalized on the play) but the last thing he wants to do is build a worse reputation with officials.
Yesterday was a tough day for linesman, as Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman took out Don Henderson yesterday, in what appears to be an intentional hit. Wideman’s hit is much worse than Lucic’s as Wideman could have easily avoided Henderson, if he was paying the slightest attention.
So next time you see a linesman, give them a hug. They’ve got a tough job.