Coach’s Corner: Let the players play

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean discuss all the hot button topics from around the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

You know the axiom: Let the players play.

That was the subject of Coach’s Corner Monday as Don Cherry commented on the deciding game between the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers Sunday. New York won the game and the series but not without a bit of controversy.

Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck was taken down in the final moments of regulation but no call was made. John Tavares tied the game seconds later and won it in double overtime.

The debate raged: should penalties be called differently in overtime or in the playoffs in general?

“I love referees doing that,” Cherry said. “[Players] love the guys that let them play.

“I know they get a lot of criticism [but] they made the game,” Cherry continued. “There was no diving, no heads [snapping] back because they know they won’t call it. A super game done by the referees. Let the guys play as long as they’re not stupid.”

There’s something to be said for both sides of this argument, certainly. But remember when the hockey world was sure it wanted black-and-white reviews on offside and goaltender interference? Debating the minutiae of subjective calls or a few millimetres on an offside can quickly become undesirable.

Even so, Cherry gave credit where credit was due.

“[Tavares] is something else. He’s a superstar.”

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