Yet another game in the NHL playoffs has been decided because a play could not be reviewed.
The Sharks defeated the Blues 5-4 in overtime in Game 3 on Wednesday, but had a play been called correctly on the ice, the game might not have ended.
Here’s the situation: In the Blues’ zone, Timo Meier was falling to the ice with the puck in front of him.
As the forward was falling down he knocked the puck out from under him and out to Gustav Nyquist, who slightly tapped it to Erik Karlsson.
The Sharks defenseman then put the puck on net past Jordan Binnington and the game was over.
But should it have been?
Upon review, it certainly looks like Meier intentionally shoves the puck with his hand — or passes it essentially — to Nyquist.
That’s an illegal play. Hand passes are not allowed, but in this case it didn’t matter.
Because the call on the ice was a goal, it stands, as the play is not reviewable.
Officials huddle, but a hand pass is not a reviewable play. This game is over. https://t.co/R9k0fclxzj
— ESPN 102.5 The Game (@1025TheGame) May 16, 2019
The Blues were infuriated with the call as Binnington slammed his stick into the glass after hearing the ruling, but there’s not much they can do about it. The game was over and it’s because, once again, a play was not reviewable.
Alex Pietrangelo spoke about the goal after the game.
“I didn’t really get an explanation other than, I guess it was a different set of rules for two different teams,” he told reporters. “I’m sure they’ll lose some sleep tonight after looking at it.”
This is the second time in this playoffs the Sharks have benefited from a call not being reviewable. In Game 7 of the first round, Golden Knights forward Cody Eakin was given a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Joe Pavelski. Upon review, it was clear he did not check Pavelski in the head.
But the damage was done. The Sharks went on to score four goals on that power play to erase a 3-0 Vegas lead with less than 10 minutes to play. They won that game in overtime.
Update: NHL series director Kay Whitmore commented on the play after the game with The Athletic. Here is the exchange:
“Was it a hand pass?”
“It’s a non-reviewable play,” Whitmore said.
“Did any of the officials see it?”
“What they told me? It’s a non-reviewable play. You can read between the lines. You can figure out what you want. You watched the video. But it’s just non-reviewable. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but that’s the truth,” Whitmore said.
“Any leeway on Toronto’s part to step in?”
“If there was, then you answered your (question). The way the rules are written, any chance there is to review, everything that’s reviewable. But as the rules currently stand, the play is non-reviewable,” Whitmore said.
“Should this be a reviewable play?”
“There’s a group of people that will make that decision at some point,” Whitmore said.
— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) May 16, 2019
Another update: The league confirmed the play could not be reviewed.
“Plays of this nature are not reviewable,” the NHL said in a statement, via ESPN. “A hand pass that goes into the net can be reviewed but a hand pass between teammates cannot be reviewed.”
The official word from the NHL: “Plays of this nature are not reviewable. A hand pass that goes into the net can be reviewed but a hand pass between teammates cannot be reviewed.”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 16, 2019