At the conclusion of last night’s Game 3 action between the Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals, all the talk was about Caps captain Alex Ovechkin and leading playoff scorer Evgeni Kuznetsov… unless of course you’re legendary CBC broadcaster Don Cherry.
Cherry absolutely ripped NHL official Wes McCauley in another classic Grapes rant. His gripe? The tripping call on Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland behind his team’s net on Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom. From the replay it’s clear to see that Backstrom actually tripped over teammate Tom Wilson’s stick and not Engelland’s stick. Referee Marc Joannette, the closest official to the play, did NOT call a penalty of Engelland for the trip, but partner McCauley, who was 60 feet away from the play did. This is what drives Grapes so crazy.
Check out this classic rant:
Some highlights from this fired up rant:
“The guy 60 feet away is making the call! Now, you tell me that’s right!? That’s not right! It should be the guy that’s in close to him.”
“That should never have been called, that put them behind the eight ball. You cannot have a guy who’s 60 feet away making a call at center ice. That’s what I think!”
“This is the Stanley Cup Final. This is for all the marbles. You do not have chintzy penalties at any time. If you’re gonna let ‘em go, let ‘em all go. If you’re gonna call ‘everything, call everthing. You can’t call some and then call it back.”
Here’s the play in question:
Yeah… that’s a blown call by McCauley. It’s probably safe to assume that Joannette saw the play go down as it did, so there’s no need for McCauley to step in and make that call. As Hockey Night in Canada host Ron McLean says, McCauley’s responsibility on the play is to ensure that there’s no interference away from the play. Joanette’s responsibility is on the play and the puck. In other words: another blown call from NHL officials in the Stanley Cup Final. Sound familiar?
In any case, the Capitals simply outperformed the Golden Knights last night and, as a result, they have a chance to take a 3-1 series stranglehold at home tomorrow evening.