NASHVILLE – Referees are human. They make mistakes. But few mistakes in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been as glaring as the one made in Game 6 of the Final between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins, which robbed the Predators of a goal.
Early in the second period, Filip Forsberg of Nashville fired a shot on Penguins goalie Matt Murray, who squeezed his body tight to make the save. Referee Kevin Pollock saw this, and assumed that Murray had the puck frozen.
One problem: He totally didn’t. The puck trickled behind him, into the crease, and Colton Sissons of the Predators nudged it into a gaping net for what Nashville and its fans thought was the first goal of Game 6, with their team facing elimination.
But rather than signal for a goal, the referee raised his arms in the air to signify that the play was already dead.
No goal, due to a quick whistle.
As the video shows, this was both “intent to blow” and the actual whistle preceding the puck being tapped into the net. Forsberg and Trevor Daley had Pollock screened on the play. He lost sight of the puck. Which is a shame, because the puck was rolling across the crease when he thought Murray had it.
Terrible call. Horrible mistake. And with the Stanley Cup on the line.
As the call was announced on the ice, the Predators fans chanted “ref, you suck.” On this play, there was hardly a counterargument to be made.
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