Yesterday was a pretty good day of hockey, like a picnic on a sunny Saturday, but that entire Leafs/Bruins game was like a giant fly in the potato salad. Let’s recap what happened in the games played yesterday:
WASHINGTON CAPITALS 4 CAROLINA HURRICANES 3 (OT)- (Washington leads 2-0)
A more complete effort from the ‘Canes this time, and they managed to get it into extra time before Brooks Orpik ended it because of course he did. The Jerks in this game weren’t Carolina though, it was an officiating crew that set the bar for that Toronto/Boston game later on. There was a headshot by Alexander Ovechkin that probably should have gotten more than a 2 minute penalty for elbowing Brock McGinn.
Ovechkin 2 for elbowing. Elbow never makes contact, pic.twitter.com/tfhriluAOQ— StopThrowingHats (@stopthehats) April 13, 2019
So then after a couple uncalled crosschecks by Orpik comes this hit by Micheal Ferland on Nic Dowd.
Ferland gets thrown out of the game for a check to the head pic.twitter.com/gSAHQkdoV7— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 13, 2019
Ferland was ejected, given a match penalty for a check to the head on this play. This might be one of the worst blown calls we’re gonna see all spring. There’s zero head contact, he doesn’t leap into the hit or use his elbow. It’s a clean hit. Needless to say, Rod Brind’amour was less than pleased.
Rod Brind'Amour beyond pissed after Micheal Ferland's game misconduct. Canes go on the PK for 5 minutes. pic.twitter.com/cgaBYVKfQm— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) April 13, 2019
And much like the way they underpenalized the Ovechkin headshot, this blatant elbow by Dougie Hamilton on Evgeny Kuznetsov only garnered a 2 minute penalty.
Dougie Hamilton with the flying elbow pic.twitter.com/acl8hpaMdt— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 13, 2019
DoPS should be having a busy day with all of this, but it’s likely all we see come of this is the Ferland match penalty get rescinded and rightfully so.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS 2 DALLAS STARS 1 (OT)- (Series tied 1-1)
Coming off a Game 1 loss where they looked dominant for 20 minutes then let Dallas dictate the pace the rest of the way, Nashville looked to come up with a more complete effort to ensure they were heading to Dallas with the series tied. This one was another tight defensive battle, with the teams trading goals early in the 2nd: Jamie Benn for the Stars and Rocco Grimaldi, who didn’t play in Game 1, for the Preds. It went to OT before Craig Smith fired one past Ben Bishop to get the victory.
BOSTON BRUINS 4 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 1- (Series tied 1-1)
The officiating in this game made it almost unwatchable. It’s so frustrating that NHL’s mindset that you have to just let things go that get called all season long because they don’t want to have an effect on the game HAS A BLOODY EFFECT ON THE GAME! It’s just ridiculous, and at the risk of preaching to the choir, it once again favours teams like the Boston Bruins. And because the officials let everything go, it led to the incident that’s gonna see Kadri suspended for a big whack of games, as he has an in-person hearing scheduled for today. The Bruins were eager to wreak havoc last night, of that there is no doubt. First, here’s Noel Acciari going after Kadri’s knee early in the game:
Here's a play in the beginning of the game where Noel Acciari almost goes knee-on-knee with Nazem Kadri.— Nick Barden (@Nickbarden) April 14, 2019
Almost the same exact play involving Jake DeBrusk. pic.twitter.com/2faL9ZF1k9
Kadri and Jake DeBrusk got tangled up a little later in the game, and though DeBrusk was clearly the aggressor, both players were taken off with minor penalties, which made zero sense. Then, we had DeBrusk’s knee on Kadri:
Kadri tries to avoid the hit at the last second, and though it wasn’t a complete leg hang by DeBrusk, he still leads with the knee. It went unpenalized. The refs blew it here, sending DeBrusk off defuses the powderkeg situation. Instead they make it worse. DeBrusk strikes again, with a nasty hit on Patrick Marleau that once again should have been penalized. Kadri snaps and crosschecks him in the face.
There’s no justification for what Kadri does here whatsoever. It was reckless and extremely selfish, as this game was still within reach of the Leafs for a comeback. This kills this and takes an effective player out of their lineup for the 2nd straight season. Kadri’s becoming a liability for this squad. The series shifts to Toronto for Game 3 tomorrow, and we’ll have the suspension length announcement when it happens.
COLORADO AVALANCHE 3 CALGARY FLAMES 2 (OT)- (series tied 1-1)
If the Flames somehow manage to lose this series, you can look back to this one. They gave up the tying goal with less than 3 minutes left in the 3rd period when JT Compher scored his first of the playoffs. That set the stage for an awesome game winner from Nathan MacKinnon to knot the series up at 1-1 with Game 3 on Monday in Denver. Philipp Grubauer stopped 35 shots for the victory.