ST. LOUIS – The four officers crowded into the box. Most of the San Jose Sharks retreated into the locker room, believing that Erik Karlsson's goal had given them a win in Game 3 and a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference final after a 5-23 extra time. None of the St. Louis Blues had left the bank or the ice cream, believing that it was utterly impossible for these officials to miss the handshake of the shark Timo Meier that led to that goal.
But they did it.
] All four missed it, marking another missed phone call in a postseason defined by negotiating controversies and grounding mistakes. Since the National Hockey League video review process does not include handshakes leading to goals, the sharks have won. And the blues were angry.
"I've really got no explanation except, I think there's another set of rules for two different teams, so I'm sure they'll lose some sleep tonight after watching it," St. Louis said -Captain Alex Pietrangelo after the 5/4 defeat of the blues against San Jose, which left her standing on the bench amazed ̵
Slightly more than five minutes after extra time, Meier slipped onto the ice and waved his stick towards the puck. It was distracted by the defender of St. Louis Colton Parayko and bounced into the air, then from Meier's chest – and then he hit it with his right glove on it. Blues defender Jay Bouwmeester threw his leg out to stop it, but Gustav Nyquist trickled down, giving Karlsson the puck for a shot past goalie Jordan Binnington.
The Sharks celebrated and the blues raved about the officials. Binnington pulled his mitt up and down to indicate he saw a hand pass. The blues stayed on their bench and on the ice. The remaining sharks ran into the dressing room after the officers had indicated that the gate would stand.
Binnington struck his stick angrily. Brayden Schenn did the same and broke it on the end boards. Many blues players waved their arms in disbelief on the bench. But the officers left the ice under the shelter of a canopy that protected them from the cups and cans that littered the rink of the angry fans at the Enterprise Center, who had seen several repetitions of the hand on the huge screen until then.
There was loud anger in the bowels of the arena. Doug Armstrong, general manager of St. Louis, slammed his hand on the dressing room door and shouted that the decision was "garbage".
What did Karlsson see in the piece?
"We did not play handball, did we?" He said after the game. "We played hockey and we deserved to win this game, and in the end I think neither of the two teams pulled the shorter racket for one of the calls – fair play."
The Blues said they had received no explanation for the call from the officials. Was it a hand pass?
"What do you think?" Craig Berube, the coach of St. Louis, asked the media during his post-match press conference.
Some reporters said, "Yes."
"Then do not ask me," he said. "There is no reason to ask, I have nothing to say."
In an official statement, the NHL said: "Games of this kind are not verifiable, a hand-pass that goes into the net can be checked, but a hand-over between teammates can not be verified."
A pool reporter brought Kay Whitmore , the NHL supervisor for the series, and asked if any of the officials had seen the hand pass.
"What [did they tell] me? It's an unverifiable piece, you can read between the lines, you can find out what you want, you've seen the video, but it's just not verifiable, but that's the truth "Whitmore said.
Would the War Room in Toronto have a critical goal like this?
verifies that is verifiable, "said Whitmore," but according to the rules in force, the game is not verifiable. "
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As with many other calls in this postseason, the discussion quickly shifted to whether the rendition should be extended to this type of game.
We will go there, how? "David Perron of the Blues said." Yes, it is a hand pass. The league will take care of it, as it did in the playoffs. "
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer overtook the money.
" That's not [for Pete DeBoer] for [commissioner] Gary Bettman and GMs. I am a coach. Do you want to ask me about the game?
The remainder of the game seemed secondary after the call in extra time, but it was an enormous rally of the Sharks.
After San Jose had built a 2-0 lead in the first period, the second half went down as one of the wildest of the postseason, when Blues's Alexander Steen scored 1:18 after a fiercely contested move from Ivan Barbashev, and only 18 seconds later Joe Thornton scored his second goal, Vladimir Tarasenko scoring in his first goal since the fourth Perron fired a shot close to Martin Jones from close range to tie the ball and then hit halfway back with Brent Burns in the penalty area, one of only two regular penalties, for a 4 : 3-lead at 18:42, which triggers a 0-to-18 series for St. Louis dating back to Game 3 of the Dallas series.
However, the sharks were not broken. that Binnington good cha and the young goalkeeper did exactly what he did. But playoff plucking can be found in both squads, and the Sharks' most reliable postseason paladin hit again: Logan Couture, previously held in game 3, poked a puck past Binningtons block at the doorstep, and Jones pulled away at 18:59 of the third. Couture now has 20 points and 14 goals to lead the playoffs.
"I think it's one of those playoffs where we look back years and say, wow, what a competitor, what a leader, but when you're in the heat of the moment, he just does it What he does, "said DeBoer, who also praised Jones's game with 15 saves in the third period and overtime.
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The blues tried to quickly turn the page in their locker room, and that was the message relayed by the coach.
"It's difficult to lose in overtime, the playoffs, anytime." She has to move on. The team has to continue. We must all continue and prepare for Game 4. Really, that's all you can do, "Berube said." We played a solid hockey game, but we were on the defeat side. And we can not do anything about what happened. We just have to keep going. "Was found in the cheering shark room.
" Do you know what? There are a few calls you will get. You will not get certain. Everyone keeps talking about the hand pass, so there must have been some. "There is something there, but at the end of the day there are calls that go both ways – these are the playoffs, there are adversities, you have to adapt to them handle, stay calm, "said Joe Pavelski, captain of San Jose.
You get the extra call, great. Just keep playing. They do not try to fool someone. They really are not. They are good guys. May not always look like that, but tonight we may have had a break. but there were many pauses in both directions, all series, all night long.
One can not help but notice the enormous pauses the sharks went through, and for the second time in the postseason, a critical miss resulted in a victory in San Jose, which was missed in Match 3 against St. Louis In Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights in the opening round, the Sharks received a five-minute major they should not have got, scored four goals in the third period and won then in extra time.
The NHL apologized to Vegas for this botched call and it remains to be seen if the Blues will get a similar Mea Culpa before Game 4.