Somewhat unsurprisingly the Pittsburgh Penguins aren't exactly thrilled about the fact that they lost their opening round Stanley Cup playoff series to the New York Rangers in 7 games. It was an excellent and hard fought series from a viewers' perspective, but following the 7th and final game of the series there was a clear sense among the Penguins that the team had just been cheated out of the playoffs.
Following Game 7 there was a ton of talk coming from the Penguins regarding a fateful moment during the game when New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson got tangled up behind the net. Video replay of that incident appears to show what was a clear and deliberate attempt by Lafreniere to remove Pettersson's helmet from his head, an attempt that would prove to be successful. The move would force Pettersson to leave the ice and would subsequently have a major impact on the game with the play eventually resulting in a Rangers goal.
Following the game Penguins captain Sidney Crosby didn't mince words, calling the rule a terrible one and openly questioning if the National Hockey League's rulebook had just cost his team the entire series.
"That terrible rule ends up probably being the difference in the game," said Crosby on Sunday following the loss in Game 7.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan was even more heated than Crosby though, and perhaps no one was more clear in their disdain for the rule than the Penguins bench boss.
"I think it stinks," said Sullivan when asked how he felt about the rule. "He has to come off, his helmet got pulled off intentionally but that's the rule."
You can hear Sullivan's comments at the very start of his post game press conference in the video below.
Unfortunately for the Penguins no amount of complaining will change the results of Game 7 now, but perhaps this can hopefully lead to a change in the rule or perhaps at least some clarification around what a player should do when his helmet is intentionally removed by an opponent.