June 7 (UPI) — Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy called the NHL’s officiating “egregious” in a fiery rant after Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The St. Louis Blues secured a 2-1 win over the Bruins to take a 3-2 series lead Thursday night. Before the Blues’ second goal, which came when David Perron squeezed a puck past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, the on-ice officials decided to not call what appeared to be an obvious trip by Blues center Tyler Bozak on Boston forward Noel Acciari.
Acciari hit his head on the ice, taking him out of the play, and he was eventually placed in the league’s concussion protocol.
“The reaction was, ‘You missed a [expletive] call.’ That was what was being said on the bench, for obvious reasons. We thought we got screwed, but you got to keep playing and we did,” Cassidy told reporters Thursday. “The no-call on Acciari … It’s right in front of the official. The spotter took him out of the game for a possible concussion. I mean, it’s blatant. It had a big effect on the game.
“To answer your original question, I thought it was egregious. But we’re moving on and getting ready for Game 6.”
The Bruins were given 14 power plays in the first three games of the series. After Game 3, Blues head coach Craig Berube voiced displeasure with the number of calls going against his team.
Following Berube’s criticism of the officials, Boston received only two power plays in Game 4. During Thursday night’s contest, the Bruins were given three power plays. Cassidy said he believes the officiating changed after Berube’s comments.
“I sat here two days ago, or whatever it was, and said I believe these officials are at this level because they’ve earned the right to be here,” Cassidy said. “You should be getting the best. But, I mean, the narrative changed after Game 3.
“I’m a fan of the game. The National Hockey League’s getting a black eye with their officiating in these playoffs, and there’s another one that’s going to be talked about.”
In the NHL championship series, the Bruins have 17 penalties for 36 minutes. The Blues have been called for 23 penalties for 46 minutes.
Game 6 is Sunday night at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.