In what is sure to go down in history as one of the worst missed calls in playoff hockey, the San Jose Sharks took the win in overtime in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals last night, thanks to an illegal hand pass on the part of Sharks right wing Timo Meier.
For those living under a rock, or those so traumatized by rage that they've already blocked all memory of the incident, let's review the tape (what a novel idea!):
The offending play comes at about the ten-second mark, when Meier, number 26, dusts off his volleyball skills to simply bat the puck to his teammate Gustav Nyquist, who sets up Erik Karlsson to score. All four refs on the ice missed it, though, because apparently being able to see things with your eyes and accurately call plays is totally overrated in this profession.
NHL rules dictate that a hand pass is a non-reviewable play, so even as the stunned Enterprise Center crowd watched the illegal pass on repeat on the Jumbotron, the Sharks skated right off the ice and into their locker room with the win. Meier was even awarded an assist, which is a new level of absolute fuckery.
To put it mildly, the Blues were rightly pissed. Goalie Jordan Binnington wound up and smacked the boards with his stick. Brayden Schenn did the same. Even Blues GM Doug Armstrong got in on the action, reportedly punching the officials' door and screaming that the blown call was "fucking garbage." Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo went on to muse that "there's a different set of rules for two different teams."
Blues fans were similarly apoplectic, and quickly took to Twitter to voice their outrage:
Unreal @NHL, UNREAL. Why have replay if you’re not gonna use it. Figure it out!! Blues got robbed. Release a statement on Friday afternoon saying “we got it wrong” What garbage!!!! No accountability, refs skate off to dinner. What a sham. pic.twitter.com/Ij80vITsO2— Brent Pearson (@b_pearson) May 16, 2019
The Blues and ownership has to demand accountability from the NHL and it needs to be public. Kay Whitmore should be fired immediately and the NHL needs to apologize to the entire Blues organization, their fans and ALL fans of the NHL. @NHL #FIREWHITMORE— Kamp (@mdoverkamp) May 16, 2019
Here we see the ref looking right at the play right at the time of the hand pass. And no call, no review, no chance for the blues to even negotiate a review. pic.twitter.com/GSPsELmbGT— Collin Bourbon (@_CollinBourbon_) May 16, 2019
Dear @NHL refs, YOU SUCK.— Lauren Moushey (@Lauren_Chaise) May 16, 2019
And it wasn't just Blues fans. So blatant was this one that uninvested observers and even Sharks fans themselves had to admit our boys got screwed:
As a sharks fan, I'll take this, but this kinda sucks. That was absolutely a hand pass....— Jared Ronald Firstbrook (@jedijared182) May 16, 2019
St. Louis should seriously stop complaining about the OT goal, it was obvious to the naked eye that...— Schlasser (@UrinatingTree) May 16, 2019
Who am i kidding, the Blues just got straight rawdogged by blind officials. That was a hand pass. Even I could see that.
As a sharks fan i want to personally apologize. That goal shouldnt stand, obviously a hand pass. Good game all around just wish it could end a better way.— Balt (@SkyBalto) May 16, 2019
This win feels too dirty. Don’t want to win this way. Even as a Sharks fan, the refs ruined a great hockey game.— Riki (@Riki_S11) May 16, 2019
The Blues should've at least challenged that the play was offside by 0.00000001mm just to make the referees watch the replay of them messing up the call over and over again— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) May 16, 2019
Even the NHL itself knows they blew this one, with NHL Series Director Kay Whitmore telling a pool reporter, “It’s a non-reviewable play. You can read between the lines. You can figure out what you want. You watched the video. But it’s just non-reviewable. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but that’s the truth.”
In other words, absolutely everyone agrees that the Blues got the shaft, yet we are expected to just take it on the chin and move on. Cool.
It's fair to think our boys are gonna be on the warpath for Game 4 on Friday. Given no chance to respond to this injustice in Game 3, and obviously fired up, they're going to be out for blood.
I wouldn't want to be a Shark with a No. 26 on my jersey that day, in other words. Let's go Blues!