NEWARK, N.J. — Tampa Bay† Lightning D Radko Gudas wants to move on from his involvement in the Squirt-gate incident that ended with his ejection during the second period of Sunday's game at Florida.
After missing on a hit in front of the Florida bench, Gudas was sitting on the ice when Scottie Upshall squirted Gatorade from his bottle at Gudas. The act resulted in Gudas slamming his stick and breaking it over the top of the boards in front of Upshall. While Upshall received a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, official Tim Peel handed Gudas a slashing minor, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct, which carries an ejection.
“Obviously, I didn't want to get kicked out of the game, but that's the ref's call and that's what happened,” Gudas said. “I was surprised the ref made that call, and there's nothing I can do about it now. ... I'm trying to move on from that.”
Three game misconducts would result in an automatic one-game suspension, but the league has since rescinded the game misconduct call assessed to Gudas, which clears his record.
“In the heat of the game, calls get made and coaches disagree with calls all the time, and it's just human nature,'' Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I respect the call he made, I understand partially why he made it but ... it's the 24-hour rule, sleep on it, and I think everybody got it right in the end so it's good.''
D Eric Brewer appeared in his 900th career game on Tuesday against New Jersey, a milestone he was reminded of when he received a phone call from home last week.
“My mom actually called me the other day and said you're almost there, so that was kind of neat,” Brewer said before the game.
Along the path of his career, the former fifth overall pick in the 1997 draft has been slowed by injuries that limited him to 32 games in 2005-06 and 28 games in 2008-09 while with St. Louis. But since joining the Lightning in a trade with the Blues on Feb. 18, 2011, Brewer has not missed a game, appearing in all 82 games in 2011-12 and all 48 games in last season's lockout-shortened schedule.
“I think anytime you start getting a few more games than the average career, I think it's certainly something to just reflect on a little bit, have your cup of coffee and enjoy it, and from there you kind of carry on,'' Brewer said. “But I'm happy, I enjoy coming to the rink, going to work and I enjoy being with the guys.''
Brewer has taken on a bit of a reduced role this season, playing on the third pairing, which has seen his ice time drop to 16:27 per game, down from 20:30 last season. The 34-year-old is plus-4 to this point, the best among Tampa Bay defensemen.
“I think Brewer, he's been a horse his whole career,'' Cooper said. “Ultimately in the end he may not be entirely happy about (less minutes) but he's, I think playing as good a hockey as I've seen him play in years. I think part of that success is he had a great summer, he came in in great shape, he's hungry, he wants it and I think less minutes has helped him.''
While Brewer would like to play more, he likes how things are developing on the blue line.
“It's a good mix, I think we have some good balance on the back end and I'm respectful of anything they want me to do,'' he said.
Nuts and Bolts
RW Marty St. Louis and C Steven Stamkos entered Tuesday having combined for points together on 11 goals this season, the most of any duo in the league. ... Tampa Bay's three shorthanded goals allowed are tied for the most in the league. ... ... RW Richard Panik entered Tuesday with a team-worst minus-9 rating, but according to Cooper, “You know that saying, what comes around goes around? The minuses are coming around, now eventually the pluses are going to come around.”