2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Sharks benefit from yet another controversial officiating decision in Game 3
Erik Karlsson's overtime goal appeared to come after hand pass from teammate Timo Meier
Here we are again: Another case of controversial officiating in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and another situation in which the San Jose Sharks have benefited from that officiating.
The Sharks won Game 3 of their Western Conference Final series against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, doing so in overtime as Erik Karlsson scored his second goal of the game to give San Jose the 5-4 victory. But Karlsson's goal was made possible by an apparent hand pass from teammate Timo Meier, who swatted the puck out of mid-air to help his team gain possession and set up Karlsson's winner.
After Meier batted down the puck with an open hand, Gustav Nyquist collected it and dished to Karlsson for the one-timer to end it.
The issue here is that officials should have blown the whistle after Nyquist touched the puck following Meier's hand pass. The NHL rulebook allows some discretion by the on-ice officials, but it's pretty clear that Meier's swat provided the Sharks with an advantage that allowed them to retain possession in the attacking zone.
By the language of the rulebook, it certainly seems like this should have been ruled a hand pass and there should have been a stoppage, even if the puck grazed the leg of a Blues defender before Nyquist gathered possession.
Unfortunately, apparently no member of the on-ice officiating crew saw the play unfold and, as a result, it was ruled a good goal on the ice. And even more unfortunately for the Blues, the hand pass rule isn't reviewable after the fact. St. Louis players furiously protested the call while the officials briefly huddled, then proceeded to timidly skate off the ice.
After the game, Blues coach Craig Berube was understandably irked by the call, but he didn't seem eager to talk about it.
It'll be interesting to see if the NHL releases a statement (or apology) addressing the end of the game. The league apologized earlier in this postseason and admitted that officials wrongly gave Vegas Golden Knights forward Cody Eakin a cross-checking major in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Sharks. Eakin's major paved the way for the Sharks to score four goals on the ensuing power play, allowing them to climb back in the game and eventually win in overtime.
The Sharks also got a major break in Game 7 of their second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche when the Avs had the potential game-tying goal wiped off the board thanks to a controversial offside call in the second period. The Sharks narrowly won that game to punch their ticket to the West final.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
It was total dominance by the Blues on Sunday in San Jose
The Bruins will have a record 11 days of rest before the Stanley Cup Final begins
Here's a guide to make sure you don't miss any Stanley Cup playoff action
The Blues wound up getting the bounces in Game 4
The Rangers are hoping Davidson can guide them out of their rebuild
Breaking down where things went wrong for the Carolina Hurricanes