Photo: Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
On Monday night, the stage was set in Pittsburgh as the Penguins squared off against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals rode a 9-game win streak heading into Pittsburgh, and had the hopes to extending their streak to 10 games.
The wild 8-7 game that was eventually decided in overtime lived up to the hype. While most hockey fans enjoyed the high scoring affair, I am sure goaltenders and defenseman globally had nightmares after viewing that game.
While the game went back and forth, the officiating in the game was a concern to some. Referees Dan O’Halloran and Frederick L’Ecuyer had a challenging night, as plenty of things went uncalled during the game.
Let’s look back at some of the things that could have been called differently, and calls that were not made during the game.
HORNQVIST HIT ON OSHIE
Early in the 2nd period, Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist delivered an elbow to the head of Capitals forward TJ Oshie in a corner puck battle. Hornqvist was not penalized for the elbow, but was penalized for roughing a few seconds later after he was involved in a scrum with Daniel Winnik.
As the video shows, Hornqvist delivers an elbow to the Oshie’s head making it the point of contact. The referees could have penalized Hornqvist at least 2 minutes for elbowing. The Capitals should have received a powerplay on the play. It is possible that Hornqvist could have received a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for this hit, if the officiating crew was different.
EVGENI MALKIN’S HAT TRICK GOAL
This was probably the most controversial goal of the game. As Evgeni Malkin shot the puck into the net, Patric Hornqvist made contact with Philipp Grubauer’s pad with his stick. The Capitals challenged this goal on the ice, but the referees kept the goal on the board.
While Pens fans might claim that Hornqvist was “tripped,” contact with the netminder can still be deemed goaltender interference. A skater cannot shove a goaltender’s pad into the net to score a goal. Daniel Winnik was not penalized for tripping on the play.
SIDNEY CROSBY’S GOAL
Right before Sidney Crosby scored the 7th goal for the Penguins, Penguins forward Bryan Rust shoved Karl Alzner in the numbers along the boards in dangerous fashion. This could have easily been called two minutes for boarding.
The missed infraction along the boards created an odd-man Pens breakout, and Sidney Crosby capitalized on the play.
SIDNEY CROSBY IN OVERTIME
In overtime, Sidney Crosby could have been penalized for a trip on Alex Ovechkin.
Cool cool pic.twitter.com/xnyP0b5dh6
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) January 17, 2017
This would have given the Capitals a 4 on 3 powerplay in the overtime period.
By: George Foussekis