BUFFALO — Lindy Ruff said he “was surprised, disappointed” that the NHL banned Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers three games for ramming Montreal’s Scott Gomez into the boards from behind.
Both the coach and Myers knew the boarding penalty Monday, which concussed Gomez, would probably earn a suspension. But three games for a player with a clean record?
“I felt that as a first-time offender it was a little harsh,” Ruff said Wednesday prior to the Sabres’ 5-4 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche inside the First Niagara Center.
To replace Myers, the Sabres summoned rookie defenseman Brayden McNabb from Rochester.
Ruff acknowledged he’d like more consistent punishment from NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan.
When Philadelphia’s Marc-Andre Bourdon smacked Nathan Gerbe into boards from behind Dec. 7, Shanahan never reviewed the hit. Gerbe was concussed and missed 10 games.
“One of our players can basically be in an identical situation, there was nothing,” Ruff said. “There’s disappointment.”
Myers didn’t want to comment much on the punishment. Instead, the 22-year-old put the blame on himself.
“They made their decision,” Myers said. “It is what it is. I knew it was going to be something. I just think I have to be smarter than that going into a situation like that. I never meant for him to get hurt. I wish him a quick recovery.”
According to reports out of Montreal, Gomez could be lost for the season, likely ending his disappointing three-year run with the Canadiens.
Myers must also sit road tilts Saturday in Florida and Monday in Tampa Bay.
Watching these pivotal games during the heat of a playoff race will be difficult.
“It’s going to be tough, especially this late in the year,” Myers said. “I’ll just stick to my routine. Hopefully, we can get some wins.”