Sutter sends a tough message

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Andrew Cogliano felt the wrath of Brent Sutter last night and Benoit Pouliot did not get off lightly, either.

Pouliot committed what Sutter considers one of the worst hockey sins late in a 4-3 win against Switzerland when he took bad penalties with less than eight minutes to go in a close game.

Seconds after being whistled for high-sticking, Pouliot blatantly elbowed a Swiss player in front of referee Frank Awizus. With his team clinging to a one-goal lead, Pouliot was sent to the penalty box for four minutes. Only a penalty to Switzerland's Dario Burgler near the end of Pouliot's first penalty helped negate Pouliot's stupidity.

"It was selfish on my part," Pouliot said. "Coach Sutter was not happy at all and the team was not happy. Inside I felt like (crap)."

Sutter was not impressed.

"He put himself ahead of his teammates at that point and you can't do that," Sutter said. "Hopefully it does not happen again. It is not something I am going to tolerate."

Sutter benched Cogliano for the second period after Cogliano made a couple of mistakes in the first.

ERRANT PASS

Cogliano, a Woodbridge native, took the benching well.

"I made an errant pass on the power play and I should be punished," Cogliano said.

"He wanted me to sit and think about it. Coach is keeping us guessing and wanting to get the best of us.

"We need that at this level."

To Sutter's pleasure, Cogliano was much better in the third.

Pouliot and Cogliano weren't the only Canadian players with issues last night. Though he was screened for the Swiss goals, netminder Justin Pogge was disappointed.

"I learned a lot," the Maple Leafs prospect said. "I was too far back in my crease. Even if I can't see the puck, I have to stay up there (near the lip of the crease)."

Sutter said he would not decide until later last night whether Pogge would be back in against Norway tonight or if Devan Dubnyk would make his first start.

Sutter probably wished he could have bottled what Steve Downie brought and passed it around the dressing room.

Downie was Canada's top player by far.

"He understands the game and plays with his heart on his sleeve," Sutter said. "He's a player you love to have on your team."


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