Despite Numerous Chances in the Third, the Carolina Hurricanes Split Season Series 2-2 With Washington.
It wasn’t the Hurricanes’ best game. Not even close to it. Two goals were given up to Alex Ovechkin in the first period, sealing his place in the National Hockey League as the 11th highest scorer in league history. For the bulk of the game, the Carolina Hurricanes could not generate any momentum, and when they did, it often came with a whistle.
I will say this had to be the worst officiated game I have ever borne witness to. The number of missed calls and even questionable calls were egregious. So much so that even the Hurricanes’ senior editor Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) took to Twitter, quoting the NHL Official Rules. Here’s the exact rule, referring to a play made by Washington goaltender Ilya Samsonov:
27.8 Restricted Area – A goalkeeper shall not play the puck outside of the
designated area behind the net. This area shall be defined by lines
that begin six feet (6’) from either goal post and extend diagonally to
points twenty-eight feet (28’) apart at the end boards. Should the
goalkeeper play the puck outside of the designated area behind the
goal line, a minor penalty for delay of game shall be imposed. The
determining factor shall be the position of the puck. The minor penalty
will not be assessed when a goalkeeper plays the puck while
maintaining skate contact with his goal crease.
2019-2020 NHL Official Rules, Sect. 4 – Types of Penalties, pg. 45.
The missed infraction occurred during the second period, with Samsonov playing the puck from outside of the crease, and outside of the trapezoid. This was only one of many missed calls against Washington tonight, including several that could have been for embellishment, resulting in one-sided penalty calls. It was only one of the most identifiable and talked about of them.
I’m not one who typically places blame or infers official’s bias, but tonight sure as Hell seemed like the officials should have been wearing Washington jerseys. Enough on that, however. The Hurricanes themselves also failed to come up when they needed to, and many of my notes on that fall into the review against my keys of the game.