To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs have supplied a thrilling first-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And per usual when these two Original Six rivals meet up, there has been no shortage of chippy play, and some action after the whistle (here’s looking at you, Nazem Kadri).
There have been some interesting calls and some very interest non-calls on both sides from the referees. But it appears that the Bruins want officials to be aware of one particular thing heading into Game 7 on Tuesday at TD Garden.
Bruce Cassidy didn’t want to go so far to accuse the Leafs of slew-footing, but said that the Bruins have notified officials of the Leafs’ “skate bumps.”
One pretty clear example of this was in Game 6, when Joakim Nordstrom was taken out heading towards the board by Travis Dermott. Nordstrom was upended, and was ultimately called for a high-sticking penalty when his stick caught Dermott under the chin. Dermott was not issued a penalty.
“I just find their skates bump the back of ours a lot, whether that’s just dumb luck or how they battle for pucks,” Cassidy told reporters Monday, via The Boston Globe’s Matt Porter. “We’ve brought it up with the supervisor, if you see a few of them. There’s a couple things we find Toronto does that we’ve brought up, that’s why they’re [the supervisors] here, that’s what they ask for — anything you see.
“I’m sure Toronto brings things up with us. We’ll see where it goes. I noticed there was one on the faceoff, (Sean) Kuraly went down from behind. There’s been a few of them every game. It started with the (Jake) DeBrusk battle (in Game 2) but I don’t know if I’d call it a slew-foot.
“I’d just call it feet contacting feet, whether it’s by accident or by design I don’t know. I don’t want to speculate.”
For those not aware of slew-footing, it is defined by NHL.com as “the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, causing him to fall violently to the ice.”
In Nordstrom’s case, his high-sticking call was warranted, as Cassidy pointed out, but it doesn’t clear Dermott of wrongdoing.
“Usually, a high stick comes up in the act of … this one came up in the act of falling backward because his foot got kicked out,” Cassidy said. “So I would hope they would notice the contact there.”
Game 7 no doubt will be under a massive microscope when it comes to officiating. And we think for the most part, fans would rather see the whistles stay quiet if nothing else.
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images