Flames' Gaudreau wasn't happy about being benched in Game 1
"I believe he wasn’t okay with this when I told him early in the third period that he wasn’t playing any more and I told him why he wasn’t playing," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said Friday.
"Johnny wants to be on the ice," he added. "As much as he’s not a big-size player, but my job as head coach of the Calgary Flames is to do what’s best for the organization in those times, and what was best last night was to keep him on the bench."
Hartley said after the game that he rested Gaudreau because he believed the Ducks were taking "way too many liberties" with the top-line winger during Anaheim's 6-1 victory.
"There was no sense exposing him out there," Hartley said. "He’s a big-time player for us and we’ve talked about it with my partners between the second and third period that we all agreed that it was best for him. I was not surprised by his reaction. He was not happy."
Gaudreau said it was tough not being on the ice with his teammates but he ultimately understood why he was left on the bench.
"In a physical game like that, I want to be out there with them, but you’ve got to listen to the coach. He knows what’s best. He wanted me to rest."
The 21-year-old scored 24 goals and added 40 assists in his first NHL regular season, then tallied a pair of goals and four assists in six first-round playoff games when the Flames dispatched the Vancouver Canucks.