Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy can expect a hefty fine following his comments about the officiating during his team's 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
Cassidy said the officiating has been a "black eye" for the NHL during the playoffs, per Greg Wyshynski of ESPN.
The comment was a reference to what proved to be the winning goal for the Blues in the third period. David Perron's shot bounced off goaltender Tuukka Rask's pads and into the net to give the visitors a 2-0 lead but only after officials appeared to miss a tripping penalty on Tyler Bozak earlier in the play.
NHL vice president and director of officiating Stephen Walkom released a statement to a pool reporter after the game, per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet: "We don't make comments on judgment calls within games. There are hundreds of judgment calls in every game. The official on the play, he viewed it and he didn't view it as a penalty at the time."
The coach wasn't done criticizing the refs with just one remark:
While the missed tripping call proved crucial considering the Bruins lost by a single goal, there is no guarantee they would have won in overtime if the game had been tied at one. St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington was best player on the ice, saving 38 of the 39 shots he faced.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, his nine road wins in these playoffs represent the most in postseason history for a rookie.
His showing won't be overshadowed by the officials, but the apparent missed call continues a theme of controversial refereeing decisions in the playoffs.
The Blues lost Game 3 of the Western Conference Final to the San Jose Sharks after the Sharks scored the winning goal in overtime on a play that included an illegal hand pass.
Against Boston, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin scored a goal in the second round after the puck hit the netting above the glass. The officials missed the development, and the goal stood.
Elsewhere, the Sharks prevailed over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 in the first round when Cody Eakin picked up a controversial major penalty on a cross-check of Joe Pavelski. San Jose scored four times in the five-minute power play and won in overtime.
The Sharks also won Game 7 of their second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche after a potential game-tying goal from Colin Wilson was waved off for a close offside call.
St. Louis was the beneficiary on Thursday and is now one win away from the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.