A controversial call, or in this particular case a non-call, has sparked a heated debate among fans of the National Hockey League.
On Friday night the Philadelphia Flyers and the Nashville Predators faced off in a tough battle between two teams currently in very different positions in their respective seasons. For the Flyers it was a huge chance to rattle off their 2nd consecutive victory following the firing of head coach Dave Hakstol earlier in the week, a move that could help them climb back out of the Metropolitan division's basement, while the Predators on the other hand were looking to avoid a 3rd straight loss as they found themselves in a bit of a funk.
Unfortunately coming out of the game not much of the focus was on either story line but was instead once again on the work done by the National Hockey League officials on the ice during that game. For Flyers' fans it was a particularly frustrating experience as they saw their team hit with penalty after penalty on what seemed to be fairly innocuous plays but that all boiled over the top when Flyers star Sean Couturier was drilled from behind late in the 3rd period.
The Flyers were hard at work in the Predators zone when a rebound produced by a shot from Flyers forward Jakub Voracek was corralled by Couturier who then looked to make a play behind the Predators net. Couturier moved to the back of the net with the puck looking around for a possible angle of approach when he sensed Predators forward Ryan Johasen closing the gap to make a play on him. As Johansen closed in Couturier turned his back only to be drilled on the numbers by Johansen, sending Couturier head first into the boards in the process.
There is no question the play was witnessed by at least one of the officials on the ice who appeared to wag his finger at Couturier as if to let him know there would be no call on the play. Now to be fair to the official there is no question that Couturier turned his back at the very last second, and there's no question that he is responsible for the boarding that came courtesy of Johansen immediately following the hit. This of course has resulted in outraged fans on both sides of the argument, with some believing that boarding should have been called regardless, while others feel the right call was made due to Couturier's actions.
You can judge for yourself in the video below, but which ever side you fall on be prepared to hear plenty of dissenting opinions.