BOSTON – There has been all kinds of chatter about officiating, penalty calls and not-so-subtle comments being thrown out there to influence the referees in this Stanley Cup Final series between the Bruins and the Blues.
Obviously, there have been blown calls as well like the non-call on Tyler Bozak tripping Noel Acciari at the end of Game 5 that led directly to the winning goal for the St. Louis Blues. Certainly, there’s been a lot of quotes from St. Louis coach Craig Berube not agreeing with all of the calls against the Blues and that the worry about penalties or suspensions held his Blues players back a little bit in their Game 6 loss at the Enterprise Center.
Still, Bruce Cassidy on his end said he wasn’t worried about the officials as Chris Rooney and Gord Dwyer return for Game 7 at TD Garden after officiating without any major incidents in Games 2, 4 and 6. The Bruins lost two of those games, of course, but that is neither here nor there after Kelly Sutherland blew the tripping call in Game 5.
“I said it before these officials are here for a reason, they’re judged to be the best. I’ve voiced my opinion with some calls I’ve disagreed with, so I expect they’ll be good,” said Cassidy. “They’ll call what they see tonight and hopefully it’s a good clean game from them, hopefully, it’s a good game from both teams. Like I said, I just want our team to be the team that executes better.
“That’s our goal tonight is to do the things you’re supposed to win the game, so I’m not worried about the officials at all.”
The worry, of course, is that the Blues won’t have a lot of disincentive to taking runs at the Bruins given that any suspensions will be handed out for next season, and that the on-ice officials have been loathe to call any five-minute major penalties since the Joe Pavelski incident in the first-round Sharks-Golden Knights series.
Given that Rooney and Dwyer aren’t likely to call more than a couple of penalties in a Game 7 where the league wants the players to decide things on the ice, that leaves a lot of room for the Blues to potentially take liberties after already getting a couple of players suspended in this Stanley Cup Final series.
As with anything, however, the Bruins are going to need to play through all of that and persevere, if they want to be holding up the Stanley Cup at the end of the night with a winner-take-all game on tap.
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