Bad officiating at inopportune times hurt the Carolina Hurricanes against the Nashville Predators. Arguments can be made that officiating should never cost you a win. “You should be playing a good enough game that a bad refs do not cost you” said the wise philosopher. However, when the final horn blew on the Canes loss to the Predators 5-3, Carolina was certainly not helped by questionable penalties and over all bad officiating.
Carolina started the game buzzing. Paul Stastny scored a power play goal at 12:19 and forcing Nashville’s Juuse Saros on his head early. Then for whatever reason, the officials decided to take over the game and make it theirs.
In a scrum in Nashville’s zone Jordan Martinook was called for slashing against Mark Jankowski. By the NHL rule book slashing is a “forceful chop.” Chops by definition tend to be down. Suffice it to say, Jankowski’s broken stick flew into the Predators bench. Physics being what they are, something chopped does not fly in an upward motion.
Apparently the officials never took physics in high school, and Martinook got 2 minutes to contemplate Isaac Newton.
Next up on the bad officiating list for the evening, Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s embellishment call on a interference penalty against Tanner Jeannot with at the 19:00 mark in the 1st. How someone can embellish on a natural penalty is not clear but it happened according the the man in a black and white shirt.
Again the rules of physics where somehow bent.
Kotkaniemi was penned against the wall, in Nashville’s zone behind the net, and cut off from advancing. Compounding the conundrum, Jeannot had already laid a left shoulder into Kotkaniemi sending him down. Bad officiating never really accounts for laws of motion. If they do, they did not on that call.
Teuvo Teravainen, and Brent Burns both had very questionable tripping calls in the 1st (Teranvainen) and 2nd (Burns) periods. Neither of these were clear tripping. Burns’ penalty was completely incorrect. Nashville scored on both.
Natural Laws, and the NHL rulebook aside, what seemingly hurt the Hurricanes the most was resetting on almost every single faceoff. Starting the second period, it took two false starts to get underway.
Not once in the third period, when it became most evident, did both teams square up and start play. Zone, referee, or players in the circle did not matter. There was at least one, often two, and sometimes three false start calls from the officiating crew. Constantly starting and stopping killed any opportunity the Hurricanes could muster at getting back into a fast paced game.
Argue if you will the impact of bad officiating on any game. What remains a fact is, the Carolina Hurricanes, against all definitions of scientific and hockey rules, were at the very least hamstrung by questionable calls, and overall bad officiating in their 5-3 loss to the Nashville Predators.