Game 3 of the Western Conference finals between the Saint Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks will be remembered for a long time. The Sharks won 5-4 after overtime, with a highly controversial winning goal, which came after Timo Meier’s illegal move.
The Swiss international obviously made a hand pass towards Gustav Nyquist. Sharks’ center later made an assist for Erik Karlsson who executed with 5:23 into the OT and brought a massive win to the guests. The Sharks have regained a home-ice advantage and can breathe freely now.
However, the Blues are heavily damaged. From four referees, not a single one saw Meier’s action, which is a bit strange. They even huddled to discuss that, but the decision stayed the same, a goal and a Sharks win.
Furthermore, it was a non-reviewable call, and it only increased the anger of the hosts.
“You can figure out what you want. You watched the video,” said Kay Whitmore the NHL Officiating Supervisor. “But it’s just non-reviewable. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but that’s the truth.”
Well, to be honest, in this case, the truth is just not right. This situation sparked a massive reaction of the fans on the social networks, demanding from the league to change their rules about video replays.
What is interesting is that Erik Karlsson had a mild celebration after the goal, obviously thinking that the goal is going to be canceled. However, the 28-year old defenseman stated after the game that he didn’t see the entire situation.
“I didn’t really see it,” Karlsson said, “I thought [Nyquist] got it right in front of the net there, and I just kept myself available.”
The guy who created all the mess, Timo Meier, wasn’t available to the media after the game, which is another interesting thing.
Blues, on the other side were furious. All the players instantly reacted after Meier’s pass and the goal. Coach Craig Berube was out of rage, as well as the entire team. He didn’t want to speak about the whole situation after the game.
“No explanation from the officials,” Berube said, and asked the reporters to tell him what they saw. When one of them said that it was a hand pass, the 44-year old briefly concluded.
“There’s no reason to ask me. I have nothing to say about it.”
Meanwhile, Alex Pietrangelo, the captain of the hosts didn’t want to be quiet, accusing the refs of having double standards. Pietrangelo was pretty upset when talking to the reporters, saying that officials’ criteria wasn’t the same for his team and the guests from California.
“I really didn’t get an explanation other than I guess there’s a different set of rules for two different teams, so I’m sure they’ll lose some sleep tonight after looking at it.”
Apart from suffering a big injustice what also hurts the Blues is the fact that they managed to come back from a huge deficit and to have a chance to win, and eventually lose like this.
At the start of the game, they were down 0-2 and 1-3, but found a way even to reach the lead. A fantastic performance in the second period, during which St. Louis scored four times brought back the hope in the Enterprise Center.
But all that was ruthlessly interrupted.
Alex Pietrangelo responds to the no-call moments before the Sharks' OT winner. pic.twitter.com/GPKJZvShMM
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) May 16, 2019
What was also noticeable on the social networks are all those comments that Sharks once again received a boost from the referees, as they did in Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights. Back then one of Knights’ players got a five-minute penalty he shouldn’t have. The league apologized to the franchise from Nevada afterward, but it was too late, because Sharks used that to make a spectacular comeback and advance to the second round.
Blues now have to win the next encounter. This will be the ultimate test of their strength and mental toughness. They have been in similar spots throughout the playoffs, and know how to get out of it.
It is just that Berube’s team never had to overcome such a devastating blow and injustice like this one.
“Let’s move forward, and that’s what we’ll try to do here in the next 24 hours,” said David Perron after all the controversies last night.
Game 4 is on this Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time at the Enterprise Center, Saint Louis, Missouri.