During today’s opening game of the Bruins - Hurricanes series, the B’s were on the right end of one of those weird calls that is either correct or egregiously biased, depending on which team you support.
When Charlie Coyle scored to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead, every Hurricane on the ice immediately protested to the referee behind the net.
Good goal.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) August 12, 2020
Charlie Coyle makes it a 2-1 game.
Bruins have their first lead up in Toronto. pic.twitter.com/8aR7ojnAZE
There were two potential issues on the play: a hand pass on the Bruins, or Petr Mrazek having the covered puck knocked out of his glove.
It was called a good goal on the ice, but Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour decided to challenge that call.
The hand pass was never really a good challenge, as Mrazek made contact with the puck after it was whacked out of the air. Maybe the challenge was for the puck being knocked out of Mrazek’s glove?
Part of the issue, it appears, is that the referees wouldn’t tell Brind’Amour what he needed to make a call on what to challenge.
Brind'Amour: "The guy comes to me and says it's either goalie interference because he has it and the guy knocked it out of his hand or it's a glove hand pass, you gotta pick one. Either way it's a no goal. What? YOU have to tell me what the call is. He's telling me to pick one"— Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) August 12, 2020
(That is one-time Chowder contributor Sara Civian, who has clearly moved on to bigger and better things. Follow her for good reporting in this series and really all of the time.)
If what Brind’Amour says here is true, it’s hard to blame him for being peeved. The officials kind of owe it to the coaches to let them know what the call on the ice is.
In any case, he lost the challenge. The Bruins got a PP out if it, and promptly gave up a shorthanded goal to tie the game.
After the game, Brind’Amour wasn’t in a “holding my tongue” kind of mood:
A furious Rod Brind'Amour says the officials wouldn't clarify the call on the ice, leaving him to flip a coin on what to challenge.— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) August 12, 2020
“This is why the league’s a joke, in my opinion, on these things,” Brind’Amour told the N&O. “That one is a crime scene.”https://t.co/FpaVpqwnL4
Tell us how you really feel, Rod!
Brind'Amour: If you're saying he didn't have it? You're not telling me what call you're making and I have to pick one? Then they go upstairs and say "Oh, he had possession"? It's horseshit. This is where the league is a joke."— Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) August 12, 2020
You have to give Brind’Amour credit for speaking his mind, that’s for sure. I’m not sure the league will see it that way, and expect Brind’Amour to have a fine coming his way.
Ultimately, it looks like the challenge ended up being for the covered puck, I guess?
NHL explanation on Bruins' second goal: "Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek controlled the puck prior to Charlie Coyle’s goal, which nullified the potential hand pass."— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) August 12, 2020
Bruins fans will do plenty of mocking, but would be just as incensed as Carolina fans if the roles were reversed, so it’s not hard to understand the frustration.
However, it’s a tactic we’ve seen before, particularly in last spring’s Final, when St. Louis coach Craig Berube whined about the referees publicly after a game and all of a sudden started getting more calls in his favor.
Cause and effect, or just confirmation bias? Probably the latter, but who knows?
We’re one game into this series and we’ve already had a postponed game, an f-bomb filled tirade, two overtimes...I guess the playoffs are here!
lmao hope it was worth it, boss.
Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour fined $25,000. https://t.co/YwMAETAc1i pic.twitter.com/SKMEs3G8D1— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 12, 2020