On Thursday night, Los Angeles Kings fans didn’t seem to appreciate the stoppage in play as Colorado Avalanche rookie goalie Sami Aittokallio was unable to stand up in the third period of a tie game.
So it’s not cheering an injury for an opposing player, but it’s somewhere near as shameful.
Aittokallio was pulled from his first NHL start in the third due to a leg cramp, replaced by J.S. Giguere. He made 12 of 12 saves in relief but was beaten by Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar in the shootout for a 3-2 loss, pushing Colorado’s tragic number to two. And by "tragic number," we of course mean “VEGAS BABY VEGAS!”
Back to the Kings fans: One assumes many of the booing fans thought this was some kind of crafty delay tactic by the Avalanche in order to break the moment of a power play in a tie game. Or that they booed a stoppage in play without knowing it was an injury to the netminder.
(UPDATE: Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty, who was at the game, theorizes the fans were booing ex-Duck Giguere on the big screen. So at best ... they were still booing during an injury stoppage.)
Whatever the case, Kings fans were filleted on social media for their actions.
Kings fans boo a 20yr old goalie who could have at worst, pulled his ACL. Disgusting pathetic people
— Aarif Mohie El-Deen (@DailyNHLGrind) April 12, 2013
Yes Kings fans, boo the injured player. Because that's what classy fans do now. — Aaron Musick (@Avalangelist) April 12, 2013
— Dan Levey (@danlevey1) April 12, 2013
UPDATE: From Puck Daddy reader AM, who was at the game:
I was at the game sec 112, row 2 seats 1&2. In my section LA fans were in fact booing Sami Aittkallio when he went down. my section continued to boo even after the trainer was on the ice and hardly any fans clapped or cheered in any way when he got up. It was disgusting to say the least.
I didn't see Giggy's face on the screen - even if it did go up... Which I'm not sure it did as between the goalie going down, play stopping and Giggy getting ready- there was a delay...
I wouldn't have bothered writing in if it was just booing- but "fans" were also screaming obscenities about and at the goalie. And you had the story right the first time.
Bailey was no where around me at this time- so I can't confirm if he was holding up his pennants
Being born and raised in LA I've been a kings fan my whole life until this year- I go to Kings games and I cheer the away team- because the crowd has turned into a joke. It's Hockey- it's not supposed to be like this.
And another from Scott Meredith:
I think you are being a bit harsh. We were in section 114, row 10. So we had a very close view of the Avalanche goal.
Seriously, the Kings had significant momentum during the power play and the Kings made several shots on the goal. It looked like it was a matter of time before they scored. Then the goalie went down. No one touched him. No one was even near him. He just fell over.
So, yeah, it looked like he was being dramatic to say the least. Most young, healthy, professional athletes don't just suddenly sustain a spontaneous injury.
So when he went down, and the play was stopped, and they replayed it over and over on the big screen, it most certainly did look like an acting job. So yes, most people booed - myself included.