A case could be made that had it not been for an officiating gaffe in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, it could have been the Boston Bruins hoisting Lord Stanley’s Trophy this year.
Down 1-0 shortly beyond the midway point of the third period, Noel Acciari was trying to get the puck out of Boston’s defensive zone. Acciari was upended by a clear trip from Tyler Bozak, but the St. Louis Blues center was not whistled for a penalty. Play continued, the Blues scored their second goal of the game mere seconds later and eventually won 2-1.
The NHL’s Competition Committee, as it does every year, recently met to discuss potential rule and procedure changes, among them what is and is not reviewable. While many fans, particularly those in New England, clamored for the aforementioned type of missed call to be up for review, it doesn’t appear that’s likely.
SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman shared what he knew in his weekly “31 Thoughts” column.
“I’m also hoping for more information about the potential changes to video review,” wrote Friedman. “From what I understand, the members of the Competition Committee asked that reviews be limited to clearly ‘black-and-white’ calls — who high-sticked who; puck into netting; puck over glass; hand-pass, etc. The trip by Tyler (Bozak) on Noel Acciari that led to St. Louis’s winning goal in Game 5? There’s zero appetite to have that become reviewable. I do think on-ice officials will remain part of the decision-making process, too.”
From a pace-of-play perspective, it makes sense that the Acciari-Bozak fiasco wouldn’t become reviewable, as it substantially would stagnate the game. But seeing as it had a pretty huge impact on the biggest series of the season, there is some logic behind those who are arguing in favor of such a change.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images.