The Officiating In The Bruins/Senators Game Was Inexcusable. Trust Me, I Tried To Find A Valid Excuse.
To be quite honest, I didn't see this sequence of events in person. I suppose that's because it's tough to catch every minute of playoff hockey when all four games end in the extra session, but the point is that my initial knowledge of what went down came from an angry Boston twitter mob. That's why I was really looking forward to disagreeing with them. I had the rationalizations for what I soon found out was an egregious officiating gaff all planned out. My first point would have been that you can't complain about a missed call when your team dug themselves a three goal hole and pissed away their margin for error. A close second would have been the insanely truth - albeit forever nauseating - idea that the referee is always going to catch the person who retaliates. Hell, I may have even slipped in a "shit happens", and implied that the good teams are able to overcome a poor judgement call.
Unfortunately, the judgement call in question was so comically bad that it renders all those fair justifications moot. Riley Nash may have temporarily lost his wits when he threw some harmless, yet easily detectable uppercut/jab. That doesn't explain the referees overlooking the one penalty that the NHL has drilled into their brains so often that a whistle should have been a Pavlovian-type reaction that - ironically enough - would have saved them from getting dogged. An obvious elbow to the head has to be called every single time, and when it's delivered to a vulnerable, defenseless player in the middle of the action there is simply no acceptable reason for missing it. The Bruins undoubtedly did enough to cost themselves the game, but that all gets forgotten when an act of braindead officiating directly results in an overtime goal before the home fans had even excepted that the person who scored it should have been in the box.
P.S. Luckily for those of us who weren't in Beantown, Boston fans quickly tossed whatever sympathy they deserved at the opposing team in the tunnel. I know it's not fair to treat one or two jackasses like they represent an entire fanbase. However, when the kid who tried to steal a stick acted like a victim when he got it whacked out of his hand I instantly felt better about the result of a game that was altered by mind numbing officiating...
P.P.S. Want to take a guess who is currently Public Enemy #1 in Boston right now?