The Vancouver Canucks were in desperate need of a win Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canucks struggle in the Pacific and their playoff chances are not looking great at the moment.
The Canucks thought they would get an opportunity to play on a powerplay in the dying moments of the game, as they trailed by one goal. The Canucks were pushing for their fifth goal of the game and to make it 5-5, as Conor Garland was at the net.
The whistle blew, and Mikhail Sergachev pulled Garland’s helmet off during a scrum. They seemed to separate at that moment, but Sergachev had other ideas. He sucker punched Garland, who didn’t have a helmet, right in the face. The referee stood right by, and according to the replays of the situation, he saw precisely what had happened.
But still, he didn’t call Sergachev on a penalty, and Canucks didn’t get the opportunity to go on the powerplay, which would have led to them playing with six men against Tampa’s four.
The NHL referees have been criticized heavily several times this season. Many believe that the officiating is heading in the wrong direction and that it’s too many mistakes too often. Many also think that it’s too inconsistent.
The situation between Sergachev and Garland has caused outrage in the NHL community, and both fans and reporters think they got it wrong.
”Mikhail Sergachev drills Conor Garland with his glove on with referee Kyle Rehman standing right there watching it and fellow referee Peter MacDougall standing about 10 feet away. No call. How is that any different from a Rule 48 headshot?,” said Ken Campbell.
”The non-call for Sergachev sucker punch on Garland in last minute is just embarrassing. It’s why people shake their heads at NHL officiating,” said Canucks writer Iain MacIntyre.
”The Ref standing there watching and not making the call should be suspended!” Said comedian Peter Kelamis.
What are your thoughts on this?