Watch this video and describe what you see.
— NHL (@NHL) June 7, 2019
On the surface, this looked like your typical goal highlight, right? Nothing out of the ordinary. That’s because the NHL conveniently cut out the series of unfortunate events that eventually led to this (game-winning) goal.
Unbelievable. Noel Acciari is tripped and the Blues score to make it 2-0. This is a joke pic.twitter.com/6qrwz1WoKd
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) June 7, 2019
Before David Perron banked the puck off of Tuukka Rask’s pad into the back of the net, Blues forward Tyler Bozak slew-footed and tripped Bruins forward Noel Acciari, a play which usually always results in a minor penalty being called.
However, no call was made and play continued. In the ensuing chaos, the Blues took advantage of the distracted Bruins and doubled their lead, eventually winning game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals by a final score of 2-1.
Acciari and the Bruins were in disbelief. All of hockey Twitter (minus St. Louis) was in disbelief. Bruins’ president Cam Neely was pissed.
Cam Neely was not a fan of that call. pic.twitter.com/mHzE7IyxbA
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) June 7, 2019
How was there no call? How did the referee, who watched the play happen right in front of him, fail to raise his arm? There is no excuse for a penalty not to be called there and the NHL should be embarrassed.
This missed called on Tyler Bozak was the cherry on top of a long list of missed calls in this Final, most notably in the last two games. I’ve always been a fan of “letting them play,” especially in the playoffs, but some of the missed calls in the past two games have been downright embarrassing.
Bruins fans won’t place the blame solely on this missed call, and nor should they. Boston looked flat last night and failed to capitalize on chances when they had them. Terrible officiating certainly doesn’t help, but they need to play better.
Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals will be on Sunday in St. Louis, where the Blues will look to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time in franchise history. The Bruins will hope to prevent that from happening and bring the series back to Boston for game 7.
Regardless of what happens, last night’s events will undoubtedly be a black eye on the NHL’s officiating. They cannot afford to let last night’s debacle happen again. Let the players dictate the outcome of the games, not the officials.
Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images