As Pavelski was helped to the locker room by his teammates, the officials huddled to decide what sort of punishment to dole out after not initially making a penalty call on the ice.
The decision they made turned the tide of Game 7 between the Vegas and San Jose and will be debated for years to come in both cities after it spurred a rally that carried the Sharks to a 5-4 overtime win Tuesday night.
“Im sure youve all seen it on TV, there was no intent,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “I feel awful that Joe got hurt, hes a class player for their team, everybody loves him. But there was no intent, there was no high stick that hit him in the face. When (Paul) Stastny (came) out, they sort of got caught up and he fell and banged his head on the ice. Thats the unfortunate part of it, it was an awful call. We all seen it. Its too bad we end up losing because of that because were we in control of the hockey game.”
The penalty happened on a faceoff in San Joses offensive zone with 10:47 to play and Vegas leading 3-0. Eakin cross-checked Pavelski in the chest and then Stastny bumped him as he fell to the ice, his helmet slamming down. Pavelski was knocked out and bleeding on the ice before being helped back to the locker room with a towel to his head to control the bleeding.
No call was made on the ice initially but the officials huddled and gave Eakin a five-minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct.
“The referees called a crosschecking penalty for an infraction that caused a significant injury,” series supervisor Don VanMassenhoven said. “In their judgment, the infraction and its result merited a major penalty.”
The Golden Knights clearly felt differently and were even more upset after San Jose turned that one penalty into four goals in a span of 4:01 to take a 4-3 lead.
“They called five minutes for that? Why dont you have hockey replay or something? It changed the whole outcome of the game,” forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “Seriously. What is that? Its so disappointing. . The game is not even close, its 3-0. Call the two, OK, but a five? With something you dont even see? You just called the outcome. Its a joke, thats what it is. Its embarrassing.”
Marchessault compared the decision to the no-call on a pass interference play that cost the New Orleans Saints a possible trip to the Super Bowl in the NFL earlier this year. He said he believes officials should be able to use replay in these situations.
“It changes the whole outcome,” he said. “Obviously human error exists, but its a fast game for everyone. I think everybody needed that extra help and I think they just got involved in the game. They called a bad call and look where were we are now. Summers starting. Five months until Game 1 of the regular season starts.”
The game wasnt quite over as Marchessault tied it with 47 seconds left in regulation but San Jose still prevailed when Barclay Goodrow scored the series-clincher 18:19 into overtime.
“Last year we were in the Stanley Cup finals and it was tough to lose, tonight waRead More – Source