It has not been a great year for playoff officials so far. Game 7 between the Golden Knights and Sharks was a thriller that ended in a remarkable comeback by San Jose. But it was marred by a game misconduct penalty to the Golden Knights' Cody Eakin, who cross-checked Joe Pavelski after a faceoff. The call was assessed with 10:47 left in the game and the Knights up 3-0, and to make matters worse, it appeared that Pavelski didn't get the stick in the face
Pavelski, however, ended up on the ice with his head bleeding after being knocked down.
What followed was a catastrophic meltdown for the Golden Knights, who gave up four goals in five minutes to go down one. Though they would manage to tie the game in regulation, they fell in overtime, cutting their sophomore season short.
Golden Knights general manager George McPhee said that the NHL apologized for the call, and he didn't seem to harbor ill will.
"The league did reach out and apologize," McPhee said, per The Mercury News. "They made a mistake and I'm sure (the officials) feel bad about it. They want to get things right like we all do when we're doing our jobs."
For as demoralizing as the call was, the onslaught the Sharks had in the ensuing five minutes was insane. Storming back from being down 3-0 is no small feat, even if there was some help.
The Sharks begin their series with the Avalanche on Friday as the highest remaining seed in the West. They'll have their hands full against Nathan MacKinnon and the Avs, but they've been granted a second life this postseason.