Screenshot via TSN
Vancouver dropped a disappointing playoff opener to the Calgary Flames by a 2-1 score on Wednesday night, but lost in the talk about turnovers and ice time was the fact that Calgary’s game-tying third period goal that came courtesy of David Jones should not have counted, but was allowed to stand thanks to a missed call by the officiating crew.
Continue after the jump to find out what blown call cost the Canucks a third period lead.
Up 1-0 in the 3rd period of Wednesday’s game, Luca Sbisa attempted to clear a puck from Vancouver’s zone, however it was intercepted by Calgary’s Michael Ferland. Ferland chipped the puck back in to the corner to David Jones, who appeared to knock the puck out of the air with a high stick. The sequence is shown and highlighted in TSN’s video, starting roughly 2:25 in:
— Aaron Ward (@TSNAaronWard) April 16, 2015
Had Jones’ high stick been caught by the officiating crew, the play should have been blown dead immediately as Jones was the first player to touch the puck, and the faceoff would have come outside the Canucks zone. Obviously, this also would have directly prevented the game-tying goal as Jones scored just seconds after this call was missed.
It’s a bitter pill for Canucks fans to swallow for sure, as it had a massive influence on the outcome of game one, a game which Vancouver lost thanks in large part to this goal. However, I’d caution against getting too upset at this play, since it’s impossible to say that this call directly caused Vancouver to lose their playoff opener.
I have very limited sympathy for the Canucks here too, as the best way to avoid a call hurting you at a high leverage point in the game is to simply not allow the game to get to the point where one fluke will dramatically alter the outcome. Had Vancouver capitalized on their chances early and kept working hard and playing with intensity into the second period, they would have built a larger lead on a team that they should expect to out-score, and this would have just been a largely ignored footnote.
Instead, if you don’t put a team away early and you don’t play well enough to warrant a sizable lead in the 3rd period, you run the risk of allowing human error or a bad bounce to significantly affect the outcome. Yes, this was a missed call by the officiating crew, but it’s still Vancouver’s fault that this mattered.