Sabres’ Zach Benson gets called on the most confusing penalty this season

The officiating this season has been a hot topic for discussion among NHL fans this season. That’s always been the case, and it will probably always be, but things have seemed worse this season.

In almost every game, there’s something happening from the referees that fans don’t like, and the officiating in the league appears to be an increasing problem.

Want an example? Take a look at this penalty the Buffalo Sabres’ rookie Zach Benson was called for during Tuesday’s game with the Florida Panthers.

In the first period, Benson chased down a puck in a race to beat out an icing. Benson got in front of Panthers’ Dmitry Kulikov and appeared to have been mauled by the defenseman.

He was launched into the boards at high speed, but to his—and everyone else’s surprise—Benson was called on a minor penalty for holding.

Kulikov earned himself a minor for interference, but fans couldn’t believe that Benson even got called for it, as it appeared that he did absolutely nothing wrong.

”Zach Benson could get stabbed and he’d get called for a penalty,” one user said on X, formerly Twitter.

”Zach Benson, two minutes for…?” another said.

”If someone can enlighten me as to how this was holding on Benson, I’d greatly appreciate it,” a third said.

It’s not the first time Zach Benson, selected by the Sabres in the first round of the 2023 Draft, gets a soft penalty called on him this season. And fans are growing tired of it.

”He’s been called for the ’worst penalty call I’ve ever seen’ about 10 times this season,” one said.

”Death, taxes and NHL refs hating Zach Benson for no reason,” another said.

In the third period, Benson got called for a tripping penalty, which had coach Don Granato furious.

Granato was even tagged with a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, and on the resulting power play on Benson’s penalty, the Panthers scored.

Postgame, reporters asked Granato if he feels Benson is getting targeted by officials, to which he responded, ”I’m glad you brought that up, and not me. That’s all.”

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