It is one thing National Hockey League fans sincerely admire of players: when one of them gets up and keeps going after a devastating hit, or keeps playing in a series despite a gruesome injury: we can all remember when Patrice Bergeron played from the rest of the playoffs in 2013 through a broken rib, torn cartilage and muscle tissue and a separated shoulder and with a hole in his lung!
While the extent of his injury was not as serious or gruesome as the ones endured by the Boston Bruins veteran forward, referee Francois St. Laurent kept going last night despite a painful ailment.
During the fourth contest of the second round series between the Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning, the poor official got hurt at the very start of the third period, but remained in the game. As reported by John Shannon of Sportsnet, St. Laurent fell into the boards at :18 into the period last night in Boston, and actually officiated the remaining 19:42 of the period with a broken collarbone.
Finally, St. Laurent had to stop officiating as the contest went to overtime and the replacement referee on site, Brad Watson, took over for the extra time.
The Bruins might not be too sad to hear about St. Laurent’s condition as the officiating was criticized quite a bit after the Bolts’ overtime victory.
Last night, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy couldn't resist taking a stab at the officials last night for another controversial call that was made on the Bolt's third period goal. There seemed to be a hooking penalty on the Nikita Kucherov's game-tying goal, that eventually pushed the game in overtime.
“We seem to be going down this road a lot lately with these non calls.”
"We're human beings. It's game after game after game. To me, the calls — you look at the Acciari penalty — it's unbelievable. Charlie is a strong guy. There was no call and that's that. They made the play to win it in overtime. They won a puck battle along the wall and made a play."
We are sure they still wish St. Laurent a speedy recover.