SUN Hockey Pool

Laser beam has players on defensive

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

CALGARY — Craig Anderson has had to deal with unruly, intoxicated, and inappropriate fans leaning over the bench.

He’s had to listen to chants, shake off rude comments and avoid the temptation to heckle the hecklers.

But the Colorado Avalanche goaltender has never seen a fan go so far as to aim a laser pointer at an opposition netminder in an effort to get him off his game.

“I think that’s taking it to an extreme,” Anderson said yesterday, before facing Miikka Kiprusoff and the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome. “That’s a whole new level.

“He’s just making a donkey out of himself, more or less.”

Kiprusoff shrugged off the effort of a Canucks fan in Saturday’s shootout victory in Vancouver, during which a green laser was seen shining on his mask and shoulders at GM Place.

“To be honest, I didn’t notice anything,” Kiprusoff told Team 1040 in Vancouver. “I didn’t have any clue. After the game, I saw it on TV and saw I had a huge green face, but it didn’t bother me. I didn’t notice.”

But the Flames goaltender’s teammates had plenty of concerns.

“I’m not an expert on lasers, but I’ve heard if that does get in someone’s eye for an extended period of time, it can do some damage,” said defenceman Robyn Regehr.

“Hopefully they find the person, whoever did that, and they’re disciplined — whether that’s not allowing them to come to games anymore, be in the building. Whatever it is, there has to be some sort of discipline in my opinion.”

A Canucks representative said as of yesterday afternoon, the team was continuing to “review surveillance video and CBC’s broadcast video to clearly identify the person responsible.”

“When we are able to identify who is responsible, we will take appropriate action,” director of media relations and team operations T.C. Carling wrote in an email to the Sun.

Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz told reporters in Vancouver yesterday he was prepared to pull his team off the ice if the culprit struck again in last night’s game against the Canucks.

Anderson hopes the team and arena security finds the fan responsible and makes an example of him or her.

“I think they have to set a precedent, as far as kicking the guy out and making a statement and showing everybody there’s going to be consequences for your actions,” Anderson said. “I think it’s the same thing for guys throwing pennies or key chains on the ice. Same charges should follow.

“It’s disrespectful to the game and to the players.”

Respect is something the offender lacks. Common sense might be missing, as well, if you ask Flames defender Cory Sarich.

“To have the audacity to go in there and pull something like that — it should be banned,” Sarich said.

“The league should maybe come up with some kind of repercussion for people that are pulling stunts like that.”

Ready to move on from the incident, Flames coach Brent Sutter has had to deal with odd fan behaviour before. His New Jersey Devils were threatened in Philadelphia during a game against the Flyers last year when a “smoke bomb” was tossed on the ice.

“We had to leave the ice because of it. You don’t like to see things like that take place,” said Sutter, who was livid during and following the game in Vancouver.

“It’s an issue that should never happen in any building, let alone a professional building where there’s a high level of security.

“They have to be rectified. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.”

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca


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