Erik Karlsson scored his first goal of 2019 five minutes into the extra stanza, which gave the Sharks a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Final, except the play should have been blown dead due to a blatant hand pass that occurred seconds prior.
“It was an unfortunate miss by our on-ice officials,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic Thursday. “They were among our most highly performance rated officials in our league this year. Mistakes happen and I think everyone involved on both teams and with the league understand that.”
Hand passes are not reviewable or challengeable so the goal stood and the Blues and their fan base were left steaming.
Daly added: “Can we create a better mousetrap to minimize either the incidence or impact of those mistakes? That’s what our Competition Committee, our GMs and ultimately our Board will have to figure out. For now, we will turn the page and move on.”
This was by no means the only egregious blown call of the post-season. In fact, the league apologized to the Vegas Golden Knights following an undeserving Game 7 cross-checking major that completely changed the momentum of the game and was a contributing factor in the Sharks advancing past the opening round.
The two referees from that game were not scheduled to work any second-round series as punishment.
As for the Blues-Sharks series, there is nothing the league or either team can do to reverse the call, so the Blues have no choice but to regroup and prepare for what should be an intense Game 4 that takes place Friday night.