The Tampa Bay Lightning, their fans, and their head coach Jon Cooper were all furious after this sequence of events and once you've seen it all laid out before you I think you'll have no trouble understanding why.
The Lightning faced off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday in Game 4 of their second round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and it was during the opening minutes of that game that the National Hockey League's officiating crew showcased a degree of incompetence that beggars belief.
What set the whole thing in motion was a rather blatant high stick on the part of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei, and what made it worse was that the high stick was delivered right to the face of Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Nikita Kucherov. Now that would have been enough to upset the Lightning, however what made it even worse was that the officials on the ice somehow failed to make a call on the play. This in spite of the fact that it happened right around where the puck was on the ice and despite the fact that the impact of the blow proved to be enough to lift Kucherov's visor and helmet halfway off of his head.
Unfortunately that wasn't the end of it for the officials on the ice. The penalty was so blatant that, despite not being called by the officials and in spite of the fact that he was not asked to go to the penalty box, Skjei simply skated over to the penalty box entirely of his own accord and promptly sat down expecting to be there for the next two minutes of play. That's right, even Skjei himself realized that a penalty should have been called on the play but instead of the officials awarding him with a 2 minute minor they asked him to exit the penalty box and return to the Hurricanes bench instead.
That was more than the Lightning head coach could handle and the normally calm Cooper became visibly animated as he yelled at the officials over the non-call on the ice. I honestly can't blame Cooper one bit in this instance given the circumstances and no doubt this will only serve to further taint the image of officiating in the National Hockey League.