Mitch Dunning
Photo credit: NHL

The NHL officials violate the NHL rulebook to benefit the New York Rangers in overtime

Published March 3, 2024 at 10:59

When it comes to the Leafs and NHL officiating, you can either laugh or cry. The lack of consistency is rampant to the point that if you can't see it, you aren't paying attention. The Leafs battled hard for a 4-3 shootout win last night, but had the officials done their jobs, there's a good chance that shootout never would have happened and that the Leafs would have won the game in either regulation or OT.

The first instance where the officials failed to do their jobs was when Matt Rempe took a run at Ilya Lyubushkin, not only charging him, but also boarding him and delivering a shot to the head, causing injury. The hit was not only worthy of a penalty, but an ejection and a suspension. Still, that wasn't even their most egregious error of the night.

With just 7 seconds left on the clock in overtime, Mitch Marner appeared to have a lane to the net as he accepted a pass at the Rangers blue line. Suddenly, he was covered and had the puck knocked away with the Rangers having 4 men on the ice. The Rangers had deliberately sent a man out early on a change in order to break up the play. They were assessed a 2 minute bench minor for Too Many Men, but according to rule 74.4 in the NHL rulebook, it actually should have been a penalty shot.

"74.4 Deliberate Illegal Substitution - If by reason of insufficient playing time remaining, or by reason of penalties already imposed, a bench minor penalty is imposed for deliberate illegal substitution (too many men on the ice) which cannot be served in its entirety within the legal playing time, or at any time in overtime, a penalty shot shall be awarded against the offending team."

Of course, it doesn't really matter this morning. The Leafs won, 2 more points are in the bank and they are inching closer to the Bruins and Panthers at the top of the Atlantic Division standings, with games in hand to boot! So why complain? Why mention it? Why care? Because, one of these days, a call like this is going to screw this team over and many are worried that it will happen in the playoffs. It has in the past and it will again. The NHL only follows its own rules when it suits them. When it comes to the Leafs, it doesn't seem to suit them often.

March 3   |   614 answers
The NHL officials violate the NHL rulebook to benefit the New York Rangers in overtime

Did you know about the deliberate illegal substitution rule?

News to me19631.9 %
I did and that should have been a penalty shot14523.6 %
I'm not surprised by anything with refs anymore27344.5 %
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