Hey, Devorski, what happened to your skin?

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Note to all you aspiring young referees:

Have some skin.

Paul Devorski's was way too thin in the Senators' 2-1 loss to the Sharks last night.

The veteran official slapped an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct on Brian Lee when the Senators rookie extended his arms and maybe mumbled a few words in bewilderment of the holding penalty he was given in the first place.

No way Devorski was going to stand for such abuse. So he put his foot down on the throat of both a player and a team gasping for their lives.

Devorski should be ashamed of himself.

Lee, a candidate to be demoted to Binghamton because he's on a two-way contract and the Senators have nine defencemen, has been told by the team he needs to be more aggressive. It's his ticket to stay in Ottawa. Last night, it might have been torn up.

Lee deserved the first of his three consecutive penalties. He was guilty of hooking in trying to cover up for a Dany Heatley giveaway. The second, a holding call, was similar to what Sharks defencemen were doing in their own end all night. But Lee doesn't have the experience of a Rob Blake, so he gets nailed for it.

But to slap him with an extra two minutes when a simple warning would have sufficed was wrong. Especially since Lee is not a mouthy player and the Senators -- who are fighting to hold on to a faint hope of extending their season past Game 82 -- had just been given three penalties in a 5:39 span.

The Senators played one of the top three teams in the NHL evenly up to and after the four straight minors handed to the home team by Devorski and Greg Kimmerly. But the Senators could not survive the parade to the box the refs had them form in the second period.

I understand that Lee has to "earn his stripes" before he can object to a penalty. But Devorski, who apparently also told coach Cory Clouston he couldn't make a line change after a penalty (???), showed a shortage of common sense.

That, and skin.

Starts and stops

Jason Spezza was robbed twice in the last three minutes by Sharks goalie Brian Boucher. First time after his own solo rush to the net, the second after a good setup by Heatley. "We're a much better team than our record shows," Spezza said. "Unfortunately, the way the start of the year went ... we should be in a much better position." ... You gotta do what you gotta do when you're playing a team with 36 more points. "There will be a video review to determine the correct time on the clock," referee Greg Kimmerly announced in the game's 12th minute, words that may have never been blurted at SBP before. Sure enough, whoever caught the Senators' stall tactic was bang on, and just like that 15 seconds vanished from the clock and the power play in progress. Made no difference though, as Mike Fisher scored a few ticks after play resumed.

Things I think I think

The Senators should have had the Sharks in a 3-0 stranglehold, as Jarkko Ruutu rang a shot off the post and Fisher set up Daniel Alfredsson all alone in front on a shorthanded try before San Jose's power play became untracked ... It's the first minute of the second period and Alex Auld's mask falls to the ice when he is bumped gently. And across Ottawa, little kids watching on their living room TVs gasp: "I didn't know Auld was bald!" ... Chris Campoli now has four assists in his three games as a Senator. He'd have more points than Filip Kuba's 28 had the Senators only been able to trade for him earlier, as they wanted ... Ryan Shannon should carry the puck more. When he's in rush mode, he's dangerous.

Between periods

Jeremy Roenick has an entourage on the Sharks trip, although wife Tracy, 14-year-old daughter Brandi and 11-year-old son Brett are not travelling on the team charter. "I want my son to see the Canadian cities and experience what it's like to watch a game in a Canadian barn," said J.R. "I want him to see the Montreal Forum, I want him to see Ottawa and this building here. I think it's important. He's a big hockey fan, and the don't get the true gist of hockey until you watch it in a Canadian city." .... Asked if he was going to point out to Brett some of his hangouts when he starred for the Hull Olympiques in 1988-89, Roenick laughed and rhymed off a few bars that he was sure have since closed. "But I'm definitely going to make sure Brett gets a poutine," he said. "For sure." ... Sportsnet analyst Shaun Van Allen goes way back with Sharks coach Todd McLellan. The two played on the same line for the WHL's Saskatoon Blades at the tail end of the 1986-87 season. Wendel Clark's little brother Kerry was their right winger. "We were playing the (Medicine) Hat in the finals and both of them got hurt. Todd separated his shoulder and Kerry broke his leg," Van Allen recalled. And? "We lost." ... Roenick was asked about his post-playing day plans. Specifically, if he has any acting aspirations. "Acting?" he responded. "Buddy, I have been acting for 20 years. I have guys fooled left, right and centre."

Things that make you go hmmm....

Apparently, 11 scouts from 10 different teams were at the game. They weren't there to scout the Sharks. "We did our building in the summer," said Wilson, who claims he's only focused on getting injured players back. Bryan Murray doesn't expect much to happen until the deadline. "You buy early," Murray said of his approach, "and you sell late." Makes sense ... Wonder if the scouts noticed Kuba, a 6-foot-4 defenceman, show the range of a 5-foot-4 defenceman on San Jose's first goal? He's much better than that. Honest ... Is it a problem when a guy making $6 million scores his first power-play goal of the season on Feb. 27?

DON.BRENNAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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