By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins didn’t lose because of the officials in Game 2, but the men in the striped sweaters certainly didn’t help matters.
Maybe they just straight-up didn’t see Anton Stralman whack Marchand right on the glove with his stick. Maybe that’s Marchand’s reputation coming back to bite him. But for most of the 2017-18 season, this was a textbook slashing penalty. And on Monday night, they missed an obvious one, with just minutes left in regulation, with Marchand bearing down on the net with a chance to tie the game.
Marchand lamented the non-call after the game, but also admitted the B’s had other, cleaner opportunities that they couldn’t bury.
“That’s a play that they called earlier in the game, they called that all year,” said Marchand. “A slash up around the hands – I mean, that’s an automatic penalty shot, let alone a penalty. Tough one there, but we had some chances on the power play. We just have to capitalize.”
The ever-candid Bruce Cassidy also saw what everyone but the officials saw.
“I think that should be called in my estimation,” said Cassidy, via the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride. “I disagree with the non-call. He hit him on the hands and he clearly loses possession of the puck and that’s an infraction.”
The non-call was especially egregious considering the incredibly weak slash that was called on Torey Krug in the first period, which was essentially a tap on the pads. Marchand got slashed right on the hand and it disrupted his shot. The inconsistency was laughable on Monday.
Ultimately, the Bruins couldn’t capitalize on some golden power play opportunities and they committed too many costly turnovers to give themselves a good-enough chance to win Game 2. But the officiating was so laughably poor throughout the game that they can’t go without mentioning. The non-slashing call was just one example of an inexcusably bad night.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.