In case you missed it, the Calgary Flames topped the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, thanks in large part to two point performances from Flames forwards Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm.
Nazem Kadri pulled the Leafs to within on goal in the third period and Zach Hyman appeared to tie the game late, but it was a premature celebration on the Leafs’ part. The puck never went in the net and was in fact just stuck on the side of the mesh.
Check out the non-goal and the Leafs celebration immediately after:
Uh... not even close, boys...
The real problem though is that the on ice officials blew the play down while the Flames were breaking the puck out of the zone. There were four Leafs players celebrating their non-goal down in the corner, Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen was out of the net for the extra attacker and the Flames were denied their chance to seal the game with an empty net goal... all because???
The Flames would pot an empty netter the next shift and seal a 3-1 win, but could you imagine the backlash from Flames fans if the Leafs were to tie and win the game following that blown call? Well... Flames head coach Bill Peters certainly gave it some thought and he had an earful for the refs following his team's victory:
Peters: "They were getting hot there. They had a lot of momentum going, the refs."
The NHL and the NHL Officials Union is notoriously protective of how referees and linesmen are portrayed in the media, so it'll be interesting to see if anything comes of Peters' words. There's no doubt that he chose his words carefully and skirted juuuuuust shy of actually criticizing the officials. Still, you can tell that there's some definite frustration boiling beneath the surface. Hopefully a 3-1 victory helps him cool down a bit.
For what it's worth, Flames goaltender Mike Smith knew it wasn't in:
Also, some more comments about the goal/no goal from Flames G Mike Smith: “I knew it wasn’t in. I knew there was no way, really, that it could get through and I wondered why everyone was going nuts."
Smith: "(when the refs blew the whistle) that was the only thing. You’re taught at a young age not to stop playing until the whistle goes or it’s in the net. So, we kept playing and they were in the corner celebrating. That was a little premature whistle, I thought.”
Leave it up to the goalie to always know whether it was in or not...