The Vegas Golden Knights held a 3-0 lead in the third period of Game 7 against the San Jose Sharks and were on the verge of advancing to the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The whole momentum of the game changed when Cody Eakin was given a five-minute cross-checking penalty and a game misconduct after hitting Joe Pavelski.
The call was controversial, and the supervisor of the series between Vegas and San Jose, Don vanMassenhoven, provided an explanation for the call.
Here is the explanation of the penalty on Cody Eakin from series supervisor Don vanMassenhoven:— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) April 24, 2019
“The referees called a crosschecking penalty for an infraction that caused a significant injury. In their judgment, the infraction and its result merited a major penalty.”
That's pretty weak. So because the player got hurt worse than expected, that merited a tougher penalty? The main argument for the call was the referee's judgement, which we have seen overruled on many occasions in various games.
Then again, the game should have perhaps never reached that point. The Vegas Golden Knights held a 3-1 series lead and lost three straight games. They had plenty of opportunities to win their fourth game, including a power play in double overtime in Game 6, but gave up a shorthanded goal as San Jose forced a Game 7.