January 22, 2010
Alexei's costly tantrum
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
TAMPA -- Alexei Ponikarovsky's petulant bench behaviour wasn't quite what coach Ron Wilson meant when he asked for more passion from his Maple Leafs.
The winger squawked about a boarding call late in the third period of Thursday night's 3-2 overtime loss and, when it led to the Lightning's late tying goal, he was issued another for slamming the bench door so hard his glove came flying on to the ice. That hindered any Leafs comeback.
"For me, no excuses, I got carried away," Ponikarovsky said. "That's the first time it's happened to me. I didn't mean to upset (the refs), but I was really upset at myself. It's a close game, a lot of emotions involved, but you have to control them."
Teammate Ian White didn't hear Ponikarovsky actually say anything bad.
"I was surprised," he said. "That was a pretty ballsy call at that point of the game, when they had just scored. But what can you do?"