A KHL Assistant Coach Tried (And Failed) To Take The Fall For His Head Coach Who Spiked A Water Bottle On The Ice During A Playoff Game
PuckDaddy- Alexei Kudashov was not a happy Kontinental Hockey League coach.
His Lokomotiv team was down 2-0 in their Gagarin Cup series against SKA. Tensions were already high on Monday when the teams faced off again.
As you can see about 40 seconds into this video, Kudashov slams a water bottle on the ice in disgust. Ice having the properties of, well, ice, it slid over and made contact with an opposing player. So he didn’t technically throw the water bottle at a player, but he hit a player with a water bottle, if we’re arguing semantics.
Lokomotiv was given a two-minute bench minor and Kudashov was ejected. Before he left, he write down what we assume was his Slack username on a sheet of paper so his assistants could keep in touch during the game.
Didn’t matter: Lokomotiv lost, 2-1 in overtime, to go down 3-0 in the conference final series.
I'll tell you what, I am a lot more surprised that the KHL deems spiking a water bottle on the ice during a playoff game an ejectable offense than I am that the team whose head coach spiked said water bottle ended up losing. I respect that Lokomotiv's assistant coach knew his role on the bench as the collateral damage when his superior starts hurling projectiles, but if you're going to try to fall on the sword then you best not miss. Simply put, you can't have a team huddling around the bench and looking for instruction from the dude that just actively attempted to get kicked out of the game. Nothing is less inspiring to a group of players than receiving their motivation from someone that was begging to go back to the locker room just minutes earlier. I can't imagine a person appearing less in control of a pressure-packed situation than the person that literally tried to plead out of it.
Of course they blew their one goal lead and went on to lose. That was basically a foregone conclusion. Why wouldn't everything blow up in their face when the coach that's tasked with nothing more than jumping on the grenade missed it completely? It would have taken a miracle for them to pull out a victory in overtime when their entire organizational hierarchy was in disarray. Obviously that's due - in large part - to their head coach going full "Gronkowski" during the third period of a must-win game, but it's also because their resident scapegoat got striped of his greatest responsibility and exposed as the doormat that he is after not being convincing enough. If you're going to be the entrusted sacrificial lamb then you got to do more than point to yourself once or twice to make sure it's you that gets served a two minute minor and a premature exit. I guess what we truly learned here is that the person that looks more Russian inherently looks more guilty, so Russian coaches might want to think twice before littering the ice with their season on the line.