Because An Incredibly Exciting Kick Start To The Stanley Cup Final Wouldn't Be Complete Without An Officiating Controversy!
Ahhh, foresight. Such a fundamental concept that's used in keeping discipline the decision making in even the most simply run of businesses and/or professions, but yet another in the long line of obvious crap that only the NHL (or more specifically, their officials) could manage to helplessly struggle with even more on their biggest stage. I don't want to make it sound like setting the precedent that the whistles had been put away by allowing Reaves to summon his inner 'Wreck-it Ryan' en route to a game-tying goal is what triggered Tom Wilson's rabies, seeing as they always seem to have him frothing at the mouth while in a predatory search for the nearest potential victim. That said, it certainly opened the goddamn door for excuse-making and finger-pointing when he chose to crush Jonathan Marchessault with a blindside hit that served little other purpose than putting at risk his safety...
As much as I despise Tom Wilson and think his absence is more likely to result in the entertaining hockey between the two best teams in the sport going uninterrupted of both concussions and controversy, even I can't argue that the most obvious of open-ice interference penalties is deserving of supplementary discipline. That's partially because there was no head contact or harm after what took a comical amount of time to be determined a foul, but also because the NHL's most trusted referees kinda brought it upon themselves by simply refusing to make the easiest of cross-checking calls due to the toughness of going against a raucous building in replacing a game-changing goal with a penalty.
After what was an enthralling, back-and-forth contest between two highly skilled teams that apparently reached a mutual agreement to bypass any sort of feeling out process, those least deserving of attention are those that supervise the ice as opposed to those that use it as their canvas. Unfortunately, the officials didn't even come close to fulfilling their responsibility on a play that couldn't have had a bigger impact on the outcome of the game, and - somewhat ironically - it either directly or indirectly led to their job becoming more difficult. Even without taking into consideration Tom Wilson's propensity to be given an inch only to take a mile-long run at an unsuspecting opponent, that was a predictably dangerous way for play to trend once the officials made it clear that the only grip they had on their whistles was between some tightly clenched butt cheeks.
I'd really like to focus more on plays like the following, so it would be fantastic if they could just call penalties free of circumstance throughout the reminder of a series that looks as though it's ability to entertain can only be stifled by striped sources...