Let's be honest. The St. Louis Blues got screwed.
There's no denying that Timo Meier should have been ruled for a hand pass as soon as Gustav Nyquist touched the puck before dishing it off to Erik Karlsson for the Sharks' game-winning goal in overtime of Game 3 on Wednesday.
There's also no denying that the officials made the correct ruling after missing the call. That being, the rules stipulate a potential hand pass is not a reviewable play, and thus, game over.
Sharks win, and lead the Western Conference final two-games-to-one.
Naturally, the Blues were pissed, as evidenced by several players voicing and showcasing their displeasure with the officials as they made their way off the ice. They remained critical of the missed call in the aftermath of the loss, even going so far as to pound on the officials' locker room door.
It's frustrating for the Blues because the game was ended when it shouldn't have been. On the other hand, it's frustrating for the Sharks to hear that they "got lucky," or that this is yet another case of the officials gifting San Jose a crucial victory.
Yes, the Blues got screwed by the missed call. But, no, you can't say that the Sharks wouldn't have won that game anyway. If St. Louis hadn't allowed the tying goal in the final minute of regulation, after a series of poorly-conceived icings, the officials wouldn't have had an opportunity to miss the call that ended the game prematurely.
Kind of like how Vegas got a raw deal with the major penalty, but can only look inward for allowing four -- count 'em FOUR -- goals in a four-minute span in Game 7 after blowing a 3-1 series lead.
Still, many believe the Blues deserved a fairer shot, and some are taking measures to address that.
We have to hand it to the Sharks, they're unwavering grit made for a thrilling Game 3 finish.— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) May 16, 2019
However, due to the controversial nature of San Jose's OT winner, we're refunding all St. Louis ML bets from last night's game 💰
Blues fans, #PlayGloria and we'll see you for Game 4! pic.twitter.com/VeSiocYLX7
Give FanDuel credit for the play on words, and ignore the grammatical error. It was, after all, a rather distracting occurrence. But refunding all St. Louis money line bets? That sure seems like selective enforcement, and the beginnings of a very slippery slope.
For instance, FanDuel didn't offer a refund after the famous missed pass interference penalty during the 2019 NFC Championship game. Nor did they issue one for the aforementioned major penalty in Game 7 between the Sharks and Golden Knights, nor any of the other seemingly endless string of controversial calls throughout these NHL playoffs.
The point being -- where do you draw the line for a refund? What distinguishes one controversial ending from another for that purpose? Why refund Blues' bettors, but not those of the Saints'?
I get it. People are rightfully upset. It may seem like good business to appease those who suffered a financial loss due to an official's error, but is that not an inherent aspect of, you know, gambling?
The Blues don't get another shot at Game 3. People who bet on it shouldn't either.