Hecklers are a part of sports, plain and simple. Athletes in all sports and at all levels get an earful whenever and wherever the games are contested. Hockey, despite the glass that separates the players from the spectators, is no exception and sometimes things boil over.
“Some buildings you hear it more than most just because of the way the tunnel is set up,” Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said Wednesday. “You don’t really listen to that stuff. The only time you hear it is when you’re leaving for the period or coming back out. I don’t even pay attention to that stuff.”
Some hecklers are better than others, according to Martinez.
“Depends on the guy. Sometimes you get the big drunk guy who’s slurring his words and you can’t understand him to begin with,” he said after the Kings’ morning skate at the United Center in Chicago. “I’m sure there’s a few funny ones here and there. As as pro athlete, it’s not the first time somebody told me I suck. It comes with the territory. If you’re going to do it, at least try to be original.”
Martinez didn’t know a Kings fan alleged Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford squirted him with a water bottle near the end of Game 4 on Monday at Staples Center until reporters informed him of it Wednesday. Martinez then smiled when told the fan filed a police report.
“Good luck with that,” Martinez joked, laughing along with a couple of reporters. “I guess it’s kind of like the disclaimer that they give (before games) that pucks can leave the ice surface. I guess water and other things can come back … It just comes with the territory.”