Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman was nailed with a questionable misconduct penalty in the final moments of Tuesday night’s battle against the San Jose Sharks.
There hasn’t been a whole lot going the way the Tampa Bay Lightning would have hoped. Many players and coaches have been dealing with a nasty bout of the flu, players like Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison have been sidelined with injuries, and a number of defensive miscues have caused the team to lose the last two home games in a row.
On Sunday night, as the Tampa Bay Lightning took on the St. Louis Blues in their second and final meeting of the regular season, a goal that was initially ruled a no-goal due to a distinct kicking motion was eventually overturned, giving the St. Louis Blues the goal they needed to overcome the Bolts. Judging by the resounding chant of “Ref, you suck!” the fans at the Amalie Arena were none-too-pleased by the decision.
If you think the fans were frustrated, just think about how the players on the ice felt about the decision; especially a player like Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Ben Bishop. Unfortunately, this would essentially be the beginning of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s frustrations during their current home stand.
On Tuesday night, as the Tampa Bay Lightning hosted the San Jose Sharks in their second and final meeting of the regular season, the same frustrations the team (and fans) felt on Sunday night all came bubbling back to the surface.
The Tampa Bay Lightning found themselves down 3-2 in the third period with only a matter of minutes left on the clock for the Lightning to turn the game around and either win in regulation or at the very least force an overtime period. Here is where things start to get a little bit hairy.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr is attempting to play the puck through coverage and around the back of the Tampa Bay Lightning net. This move isn’t something out of the ordinary for a player with no clear shot to do. Unfortunately, a rather misplaced referee stood between Sustr and the location the Lightning defenseman planned for the puck to reach.
As the puck deflects off of the referee’s skate, San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is able to gain possession of the puck and send it flying in front of the Lightning net to Sharks center Melker Karlsson, who was fresh off the bench. Needless to say, Lightning netminder Ben Bishop was blinded by the shot and had no chance of stopping the puck from entering the back of the net.
As you can imagine, the players on the ice (at least those in Lightning blue) were pretty frustrated by the turn of events. This is where the Tampa Bay Lightning found themselves in a precarious position.
After the goal was scored, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman allowed his frustration to get the better of him and he sent the puck flying down the ice. Unfortunately, one of the referees was a little overzealous and allowed paranoia to get the best of him when he felt that Hedman was intentionally trying to hit him with the puck. In turn, the referee slapped a
Unfortunately, one of the referees was a little overzealous and allowed paranoia to get the best of him when he felt that Hedman was intentionally trying to hit him with the puck. In turn, the referee slapped a 10-minute misconduct penalty on Hedman and sent him to the locker room ahead of his team, who was now down 4-2 with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
While there are some who believe the penalty was justified, we would have to politely disagree with that assumption. Sure, maybe Victor Hedman could have contained his temper a little better on the ice; however, we are pretty certain if Hedman was trying to hit the referee with the puck, Hedman would have hit the referee with the puck. He is a professional athlete after all.
The thing we find a little lopsided about this whole ordeal is that a referee is allowed to, whether intentionally or not, interfere with the play on the ice, but when it results in a goal for the other team, their opponent has no right to question the play. That sounds legit, right?
In any case, this whole ordeal has turned into a blemish on the record of a normally well-behaved defenseman that could, at some point, come back to haunt him.
What are your thoughts on the Victor Hedman misconduct penalty? Do you think the referee was a bit overzealous with his power, or do you think he made the right decision? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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