Many hockey fans have said that NHL officiating is the worst of any league or any sport. Unfortunately for Team USA, those fans were proven wrong Sunday night in the World Championships.
The Americans were winning a tough game with Finland by the score of 2-0 when the Finns apparently scored a huge goal in the third period, giving them some much-needed momentum.
Coach John Tortorella argued against the goal, but after video review, the tally counted and Team Finland continued the comeback to an eventual 3-2 victory. “Torts” argued because he thought that the puck entered the goal from the side of the net.
After the game, it was confirmed that the angry coach was right. Somehow the ref on the ice as well as the video review judge blew the call.
NOTE: The IIHF formally acknowledged after the game that Koistinen’s shot had, indeed, entered the side of the net and should not have counted, and the video-goal judge will not be working for the rest of the tournament
Nice of them to acknowledge that after the fact, so now why not give Team USA the tie?
The game was a rough one from start to finish (no pun intended), and over 90 minutes of total penalties were called, including three match penalties. Florida Panthers punk Captain Olli Jokinen was thrown out of the game and suspended for the next game as well because of a hit from behind on Tim Gleason. (A match penalty was awarded to Jokinen and that carries a mandatory one-game suspension). Gleason did not return to the game after the hit and as of Sunday night there was no injury status report.
USA’s David Backes and Finland’s Anssi Salmela also received match penalties and will be unavailable for their respective teams for their next contests.
Team USA’s next opponent will be Norway while Finland will take on Canada.
In other World Championship action….
On Saturday, Eric Staal asserted himself and scored 4 goals (3 in one period) to lead Team Canada to a 10-1 rout of Germany. Cam Ward earned the win between the pipes.
Speaking of suspensions, Hurricanes defenseman Nic Wallin received a two game suspension because a nasty hit from behind that he delivered in a game against the Swiss. It sounds like that illegal check was as hard as Nic has hit anyone in years, at least while he was wearing a Hurricanes jersey. Not that I am an advocate for dirty play, but it would be nice to see Wallin play with a bit more aggression here in Raleigh.
More action on Monday.