Fury in Toronto over the officiating in Game 5.
Frank Gunn/Canadian Press  

Fury in Toronto over the officiating in Game 5.

Uproar in Toronto over a series of controversial calls, and non-calls, during the course of Game 5.

Jonathan Larivee

It is heartbreak season for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Over the last several seasons the organization's fan base has become all too accustomed to disappointment in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but this time around things feel a little different. The blow may actually be worse this time around because of how things played out over the course of the second round, with the Maple Leafs nearly being swept by the underdog Florida Panthers, especially when you consider how things transpired in the final and deciding game of the series, Game 5.

To suggest there is fury in Toronto over the National Hockey League's officiating in Game 5 might be the understatement of the year, with a series of blown calls or non-calls leaving the diehard Maple Leafs' fan base in total disbelief. There were 3 moments in particular that will be burned into the minds of those same fans, and quite frankly when you see the video evidence I think you will find it hard to blame them.

Perhaps the most controversial moment of them all came on the game-winning goal when Florida Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas grabbed the stick of Maple Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok with his glove and spun him around, taking him out of position moments before the game-winning shot and goal from the Panthers' Nick Cousins.

It looks even worse from the camera angle on the opposite side of the play.

This alone would be a source of frustration to be sure, but unfortunately for the Maple Leafs this was just the final knife through the heart on the evening. Prior to the Leafs even heading into overtime, Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner was on the receiving end of a nasty looking blow courtesy of NHL veteran Eric Staal.

The cheap shot appeared to be deliberate, was delivered with some force, and was performed right in front of one of the officials on the ice but it did not result in a power play for the Maple Leafs. 

The other big controversy of the night though would come on a disallowed goal from Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly during the second period. While it was clear that the puck did in fact cross the goal line while underneath the pad of Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, the officials determined that the video available wasn't enough to rule it a good goal.

Although the puck is clearly under Bobrovsky's pad, it's very difficult if not impossible to locate the puck in the overhead shot of the goal.

This video angle however does appear to show the puck crossing the goal line, which makes you wonder what the NHL was looking at.

If there is one silver lining here for the Maple Leafs, it is that the poor performance from the NHL officials in Game 5 does appear to have shifted at least some of the blame away from the team itself and onto the shoulders of the NHL and its officials.