While watching overtime of game 5 between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, it became abundantly clear that the NHL doesn’t want Boston to progress further…or they want the Senators to advance. Maybe it’s a bias against a city that has had post-season success with all of their sports franchises since the beginning of the century. Maybe its the fact that none of the Canadian teams were good enough to make it this far last season and the NHL feels they are owed as much. Or maybe the officials are just plain idiots that don’t know what the hell they are doing. Whatever your interpretation here..this is the NHL’s most embarrassing moment.
First off, the official standing right behind the net doesn’t have the stones to actually make a call when the Bruins appeared (it was a goal, but i am trying to be fair) to have scored. Then, after meeting with other officials for a minute, announce that there is no goal due to goaltender interference. After three plus minutes of review, which I understand is done in Toronto, the announcement is no goal. I don’t understand why the on ice officials are looking at replays if they have nothing to do with the decision, but that is for another time. This leads to more questions than answers. Where is Sean Kuraly supposed to go? How is it interference if he is allowed to follow the puck into the area when it is a rebound opportunity. Craig Anderson makes no attempt to reset when laying on the ice while his teammate and Noel Acciari are putting the puck behind him.
Not more than what seemed to be two or three minutes later, Jean Gabriel Pageau wraps his hand around the puck while in the crease area before pushing it to Anderson, clearly a penalty shot opportunity for the Bruins. Kerry Fraser, a former NHL referee tweets out that he didn’t have to wrap his hand around the puck, just falling on it in the crease is a penalty shot. Not only was none of this awarded, but the officials felt the need to announce that there was no goal as the puck had not crossed the goal line, but did not address why the puck had not crossed said line.
If the NHL cannot effectively control their officials and enforce some form of consistency from the men wearing black and white stripes, then why bother playing the games. It would save everyone involved the physical, mental and emotional stress of having to win or lose based on what these four extra skaters say and do. Coaches could manage their rosters better, already knowing whether they would be playing in the second round or not. Please give us some kind of advanced notice if the game we are preparing to watch has already been assigned a predetermined ending. Not only will the coaches benefit, but those of us watching can plan to watch something that is supposed to be scripted…something like World Wrestling Entertainment, at least I can expect the officials to be useless and the team that the League wants to win will do so.