Controversy in Boston over “special rules” for Sidney Crosby.

Controversy in Boston.

Controversy in Boston over “special rules” for Sidney Crosby.

The Boston Bruins and their fans were furious on Friday over what some pundits are calling out as blatant favoritism from the National Hockey League and their officials. 

At 17:44 of the second period in the Friday afternoon match up between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruims, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby put the puck in the back of the Bruins net. That goal was initially waived off, but that was just the start of the controversy. 

The goal went to review however NBC's national broadcast crew was convinced that the goal on the ice would stand due to the fact that the NHL official on the ice had whistled the play dead. Despite multiple members of the broadcast echoing their agreement, the NHL officials would come back and overturn the call on the ice, ruling it a good goal for the Penguins. 

After that ruling the Bruins issued a new challenge for goaltender interference, pointing to the fact that Crosby had appear to give Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin a rather solid whack of his stick as the Bruins goalie went down in an attempt to make the save.

Despite that challenge the officials once again ruled that it was a good goal from Crosby, sparking a great deal of criticism on social media including some accusing the NHL of bias. Bruins insider Joe Haggerty went so far as to call out the NHL for having a different set of rules for Crosby.

"This should be overturned a second time, but it is Sid. So special rules always seem to apply," wrote Haggerty.

The NHL however has released the following explanation:

At 17:44 of the second period in the Penguins/Bruins game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Boston net. Video review determined that the puck was entering the net as the referee was blowing his whistle. 

According to Rule 38.4 (ix), "The video review process shall be permitted to assist the Referees in determining the legitimacy of all potential goals (e.g. to ensure they are "good hockey goals") ... This would also include situations whereby the Referee stops play or is in the process of stopping the play because he has lost sight of the puck and it is subsequently determined by video review that the puck crosses (or has crossed) the goal line and enters the net as the culmination of a continuous play where the result was unaffected by the whistle (i.e., the timing of the whistle was irrelevant to the puck entering the net at the end of a continuous play)." Good goal Pittsburgh.

Here is the video itself.