Leafs winger assaulted twice in the same sequence and then is issued a penalty for doing nothing

Published January 15, 2022 at 8:11 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
A bit of a curious situation arose in St. Louis on Saturday night's meeting between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues after Leafs winger Michael Bunting was victimized twice by Blues defenders in the first period, yet somehow wound up with a penalty on the play himself.

The first incident occurred when Blues defenseman Niko Mikkola absolutely crushed Bunting with what should have been a clear boarding call, right in front of the official. No call was made at the time, and as a result, Bunting gave Mikkola a good shove on his way off the ice.


Following that altercation, Bunting had been beaking back and forth with Mikkola as he skated towards the Leafs bench, when Torey Krug delivered a stiff check to Bunting while his head was turned. He then proceeded to mount the Leafs winger and delivered a couple of shots for good measure.. again, in front of the officials.



While the officials did not put up any arms indicating that a penalty was incoming, they slapped both Bunting and Krug with offsetting minor penalties, forcing some 4-on-4 play. Bunting got the gate for unsportsmanlike conduct, while Krug received a roughing call on the play.

This one is a total headscratcher. Sure, we don't know what Bunting was saying to Mikkola when he was levelled by Krug, but I don't see the justification for offsetting minors. If you want to call them both, sure. But the call should have been offsetting minor penalties, plus 2 minutes to Krug for unsportsmanlike conduct as well. Just my two cents.

Does anyone else feel like the NHL officiating is worse than it's ever been this season?
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