OT Win for Sharks; Strange Officiating (already?)

The Sharks won last night against the Kings, 3-2, in overtime on a Joe “the Big” Pavelski laser-beam of a shot. It was great to see the Sharks remain strong and stay in the game emotionally, even though the highlights of this game are more about what took place in the first period.

Jarret Stoll boarded Ian White, and if you see the replay,…You don’t have to wonder why hockey is sometime repellent or misunderstood among the non-hockey sports fan. Stoll came up on White’s head, drove it into the glass, and then looked at him as he kept White’s face against the boards. Sick.

Of course, what followed was the typical complaining, and justifiably so. Earlier in the period, Ryane Clowe received a roughing penalty for what was some of the ordinary pushing-and-shoving that follows any stoppage in play in which there’s lots of contact. What a joke: the ref’s called that and not Stoll for creaming White into the glass?

Shortly after the puck dropped, Ben Eager and Kyle Clifford dropped the gloves, and Eager caught Clifford with an grazing elbow, and then several punches before the ref’s separated them. The Sharks were still fuming.

How both officials missed the hit by Stoll is nothing short of astonishing. Give props to Todd McLellan, head coach of the Sharks, for some temperate remarks as well as sending his own warning shot across the bow:

Sharks coach Todd McLellan was especially upset there was no penalty on the play.

“We saw a really good angle,” he said. “The good news for us is that the league is looking at these type of things; they take it very seriously. And it will be dealt with. The bad news is we lost a very good defenseman that we count on. The rest of it is unfortunate because Jarret Stoll is a hell of a player. He ended up taking 20-25 faceoffs tonight and played 23 minutes. And we had to play with five defensemen. It’s disappointing that it was missed on the ice, but it’s in somebody else’s hands, and we know it’s a serious thing the league is looking at.”

See, if the NHL does not suspend Stoll for the rest of the series, McLellan will give the green light to Eager, Murray, Boyle, Mayers, and even Joe Thornton, to simply hammer every Kings player in sight with impunity.

There’s more to the statements, “And it will be dealt with…it’s in somebody else’s hands” than trusting the NHL to enforce their stated objections to head-shots.

Failure to suspend Stoll will make for an ugly, and unfortunately, boring series, ending up being more about fighting and not enough about winning the Stanley Cup.

(HT: Pierre LeBrun/ESPN, Hockeyfights.com)

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