You May Not Have Known This, But the Bruins are Actually the First Team to Get Boned by Incompetent Officiating During the Stanley Cup Playoffs
Ha! Joke's on Bruce Cassidy, and I don't mean the perpetual punchline that has been the entirely overwhelmed cast of characters (poorly) officiating the Stanley Cup playoffs. Instead, I'm referring to the joke that is the implication that one missed call, albeit an inexcusably missed call that led to an eventual game-winning goal, has made any blacker eyes that already looked like those of a raccoon after being bruised beyond belief by a postseason that's seemed destined to expose every potential defect in the NHL's product. If we're rolling with the analogy that the league is a living entity that takes a punch every time they suffer a bad look then a dead horse has nothing on the beating they've taken prior to last night. Long story short, one passed up penalty, no matter how impactful its aftermath, is a drop in the bucket of tears from teams that have far more reason to feel fucked.
Now, Bruins' fans absolutely have every right to bitch, just as Bruce Cassidy has every right to do exactly what Craig Berube did earlier in the series to try to influence officiating going forward. However, let's be very clear here. During a time of the year in which referees, for better or worse, tend to let the players play, every team in every game can point out a missed 3rd period penalty that went against them. They aren't always that obvious, nor do they always lead to backbreaking goals. However, it stands to reason that's partially because most victimized teams don't stand around, dicks in hand, waiting for a whistle instead of actually playing to it. Boston may have lost by a goal that shouldn't have had the chance to come to fruition, but to say they lost because of a goal that shouldn't have had the chance to come to fruition is a very convenient way to point the finger away their best players making their only impact on the groin of the opposing goalie.
The officials definitely deserve their fair share of blame for, yet again, getting exposed as incompetent, but - make no mistake - this was no hand-pass assist in overtime. With a multitude of mystifying misses, such as the like, so fresh in everyone's mind, an objectively crappy judgement call not made with plenty of time left on the clock hardly meets the high standard of abject stupidity we've seen throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. With the incredibly controversial way this postseason has played out, we were damn near guaranteed another high-profile head-scratcher during the Final, and - has been proven time and time again throughout the last few months - this one could have been much, much, much worse.