The Boston Bruins have been skating circles around the Toronto Maple Leafs through two, but the Leafs got on the board first Monday thanks to a blown call.
The Toronto Maple Leafs scored on the Boston Bruins in the first period of their Game 3 matchup Monday — in Toronto — on a power play.
But, here’s the thing — the power-play advantage should never have existed. Thanks to an an absolutely mind-numbing blown call, it did.
Here’s what went down. The Bruins’ Riley Nash got called for a delay of game for allegedly flipping the puck over the glass. So Nash had to go to the box:
Seven seconds later, the Leafs’ James van Riemsdyk scored.
But, wait, what’s this? The puck clearly, indisputably hit the glass?
You don’t say.
And you can’t place the blame for this at Boston goaltender Tuukaa Rask’s feet. Rask was on fire during the first period, with 11 saves.
And if the Bruins do somehow lose this game by one goal, it needs to be pointed out that this was the first period this postseason that they failed to score. So they certainly didn’t do themselves any favors in the first 20 minutes.
But then, at worst, the score should have been 0-0 heading into the second period.
Now, not to go full-on conspiracy theory here, but Scouting the Refs did have some interesting numbers on these two teams’ records with this group of refs:
Coincidence? Probably. But this is not a good look.
In summary, delay of game penalties need to be able to be challenged during the playoffs. Coaches are only going to challenge when there’s irrefutable proof, as there was here. There’s simply too much on the line for hard-fought goals in these huge games to be gained directly off a blown call.