Ah, the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The toughest athletes in the world competing for the top prize in all of hockey. Moments that will echo throughout the history of the sport. And, of course, officials making horrendous blown calls that lead to holes punched in walls all across North America. It was hard to narrow it down to six, but these calls in the 2019 playoffs stand out as exceptionally awful.
6. Gabriel Landeskog's Offsides in Game 7 of Sharks-Avalanche
This is a Game 7, for crying out loud! The Colorado Avalanche captain was ready to tie up the final game of their series against the San Jose Sharks before his goal was nullified due to an offsides call. This could be tough in real-time, but video shows that the refs messed this one up.
5. Artemi Panarin Scores in Game 4 of Bruins-Blue Jackets
Puck hits the netting but nobody notices, Panarin capitalizes to get the Jackets on the board pic.twitter.com/2KyTDHE0RB— Heart of NHL (@HeartofNHL) May 3, 2019
If you can't call puck in the net correctly, that seems like a big issue for a ref working a playoff game. Artemi Panarin helped keep Columbus' hopes alive by scoring a goal to cut a Bruins lead to 2-1, but that play should have been blown dead after it hit the netting above the boards. At least the refs couldn't blow another call in this series, right?
4. Charlie McAvoy Escapes Game 6 With Only a Minor Penalty
Bruins’ McAvoy lays out Blue Jackets’ Anderson with a controversial hit late in the second period of Game 6— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) May 7, 2019
Thoughts on the minor penalty call? ? pic.twitter.com/zSMqrhLOKM
Wrong. When Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy assaulted Josh Anderson of the Blue Jackets, the refs, apparently taking their cues from how the NFL called helmet-to-helmet contact in the 70s, only ruled it a minor penalty. McAvoy receiving a major or an ejection would have changed the course of the series. Instead, he escaped unscathed, and the Bruins won. And yet they're the ones complaining about St. Louis' hard hits these days.
3. The Vegas Choke Job Starts With a Cody Eakin Cross Check
A five minute major for this seems super excessive pic.twitter.com/TaLyyJHzqS— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 24, 2019
This is certainly a penalty. However, Golden Knights center Cody Eakin should have only gotten a two-minute penalty for something this benign. Instead, he was slapped with a five minute major penalty, which allowed a Sharks team down 3-0 to score four goals on the power play, lifting them to a Game 7 victory. Uh...what?
2. Timo Meier Gets Away With a Blatant Hand Pass
Man, did the league want the Sharks to win in these playoffs. In overtime during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, Timo Meier's hand pass exquisitely set up Erik Karlsson, who slotted away his second of the game to win it for San Jose, who took a 2-1 series lead. This is such a bad call it almost defies logic.
1. The Tyler Bozak No-Call
This is the play that gave the Blues a 2-0 lead.— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 7, 2019
The Bruins and their fans were livid after the no-call on Tyler Bozak. pic.twitter.com/Omo4gbQDlt
This is becoming so legendary that it's going to be remembered simply as "The No-Call" in a few years time. Even the most diehard Blues fan has to acknowledge that Bozak may have gotten into some extracurricular stuff in this sequence and should have been penalized (you can even see him pleading against...nothing after the initial hit, assuming he'd be flagged for something). Instead, he got away scot free, leading the Blues to a Game 5 win.