Rule Book Research: Rules Ignored in Game 5

Zach Parise was dealt blows to the back of his head in Game 1 by Erik Johnson - Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild have to move on from their heart-breaking loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5, but the fans are are hardly getting over it that easy.

Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals was a good game marred by terrible officiating. It was bad for both sides. From plays that the announcers assumed a penalty would be called on Colorado, in-turn ended up being a power play. A phantom goal-tender interference call on Mikael Granlund, and why in the hell did Gabriel Landeskog not get tossed for pushing a referee/linesman while being escorted to the box?

I pulled out the rule book so you can determine what that calls should have been. I'll tell you, there was a lot of them. For instance, the rule for interference is a long dissertation that, frankly, I will just link to here.

I pulled Rule 40 because it directly describes situations in which players use force on an official. Any other league would have flagged, "T'd up", or red carded him in a second.

Rule40_medium

Clearly, Landskog should have been tossed fromthe game and, at a minimum, should be suspended for 3 games. But, since he was never ejected, the process for supplemental discipline was never started..

Gabriel Landeskog was a menace all night. He lost his stick in the defensive zone then tried to grab Mikko Koivu's stick. Immediately, this should have been called for Holding the Stick. Koivu would try and wrestle his stick from the hands of Landeskog, but Landeskog would end up tackling him then lay some hay-makers to the back of his head and drive his head into the ice. Some how is all of this, the referee crew of Meier and Sutherland found it fit to call coincidental minors for roughing.

Rule51_medium

Sure it was an altercation, but Koivu was hardly a willing participant.

The fact that Matt Moulson was hit from behind on his way to the bench by Cody McLeod, and some how Charlie Coyle got the only minor out of that whole kerfuffle that ensued is beyond me. Moulson did not have possession of the puck at the time of contact, nor did he just give up possession of the puck which means the window of finishing checks never existed. Classic case of interference or blatant roughing.

Then we move to the series of events that led to the game-tying goal. As you may remember, Koivu forced a turnover just inside the Wild blue line. He made a diagonal. cross-ice pass that was too far for Charlie Coyle. Coyle tried to hustle to the puck, but had his open hand held by Andre Benoit, essentially negating an opportunity at the empty net. This falls under Holding.

Rule54_medium

With that non-call by the officiating crew, the puck was played up the boards to Paul Stastny. Nathan MacKinnon was a step over the blue line which should have resulted in an offsides infraction.

Rule83_medium

The linesman was not in position to view the play, and did not whistle the play dead, as it should have been called. Instead Stastny would get an opportunity on Darcy Kuemper, corral the rebound and dish it out front to a crashing Parenteau who would even the score at three.

The game would head into overtime and of course MacKinnon (did you know he is just 18 years old?) would end the game with a nice effort and goal to propel the Avalanche to a 3-2 series lead.

Wild fans on the Twitterverse blew up with accusations that the refs were, "paid off," or the the NHL, "had the fix in." First off, this isn't the NBA. Secondly, complain about the utter incompetence of the game officials, not that they had this game rigged. Ultimately, the Wild didn't make the right plays, or enough plays, in the final minutes of Game 5 to win the game. It just made it harder when they were seemingly battling the referees as well.

This video is courtesy of @KenSolomon

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