If there’s one thing that’s been consistent throughout the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs it’s the inconsistency from NHL officials. It seems like hardly a game goes by where the referees and linesman haven’t missed a blatant call or blown a call entirely.
In the latest gaffe from the NHL’s crack officiating crew, veteran referee Wes McCauley blew a tripping call on Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland in Game 3 action last night from Capital One Arena. Legendary CBC broadcaster Don Cherry absolutely ripped McCauley in another classic Grapes rant. From the replay it’s clear to see that Washington Capitals forward Nicklas 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:
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.
And here’s the worst part… calls like this have become par for the course this postseason. Nearly every game there’s something for players, coaches and fans to point to as an injustice.
One former player, longtime enforcer Brandon Prust, has seen enough and took to social media to put forth an idea borrowed from the NBA. The NBA reviews the actions of each official during a game’s final two minutes of play and issues what is essentially a public report card called the “Last Two Minute Report”. When Prust saw the report for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, he asked aloud, “Does NHL do this? They should start.. hold officials accountable for their mistakes. Would make them better next game."
Of course, the NHL does NOT do this but surely fans would LOVE to see the officials face some level of accountability for their on ice actions. The likelihood of it happening however is about as likely as a Pittsburgh Penguins three-peat at this point…