What if the referees read the rulebook? History will be made.
It’s no surprise that Canucks fans were up in arms Saturday after the Canucks were beaten by the referrees that night to send the series down to SoCal with the Kings and Canucks tied at one. TSN had a great piece analyzing the call and after there was similar poor refereeing in the Phoenix/Detroit Game-3 there’s certainly some frustration from a lot of people with the zebras.
NHL Rule 74.1 states that if a player is within 5 feet of the bench and they do not play the puck then it shall not be called a penalty. It’s pretty clear that Bieksa is trying to get out of the way and it’s hard to argue that. You don’t see Vigneault criticize the referees in his post game presser too often, certainly not with such specificity to one call. He had due cause and it cost Vancouver the game
All that said, it was a blown call and at this point there’s no much we can do to go back and fix it. You can be sure that the Canucks will get more than a few calls going their way all night, but at the end of the day that does nothing to make up for a call that cost Vancouver a 2-0 series lead. The change in the psychological effect it has on the players alone is enough to feel robbed. The Kings feel they’re in it still and it’s Vancouver’s job to put that to rest in the next two games at the Staples Center.
The referees cost Vancouver the 2-0 series lead, but in the long run it could end up being a good thing. with all eight series seeing the first two games of their respective duels split 1-1, it’s not improbable that several of these series are going to go long. The Canucks have struggled on extra days rest all season so if they had swept the series that could have worked against them for the start of the second round. That being said, there’s a positive side to all of this (end even a YouTube Video worth watching). While the loss in game two means the Canucks will not get their second ever series sweep, it allows Vancouver to potentially win the series at home in game five. Not a terrible trade off I suppose.