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Referees’ mistake costs Blue Jackets, sends Tortorella into rage

Head Coach John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets speaks to his players

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

(UPDATE: Tortorella regrets rant, NHL defends referee decision)

The Columbus Blue Jackets unfairly lost a second or two in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday and then a series of events compounded the error.

The Blue Jackets did extend their point streak to 10 games but fell in a shootout against the Chicago Blackhawks. Following the loss, John Tortorella was brief in his postgame press conference but made a number of statements that do appear to be accurate.

“The whistle is blown at 19.2 on the clock. For some reason the clock is run down a second and a tenth to 18.1,” Tortorella told reporters after the game. “For whatever reason, I have no goddamn idea. So instead of resetting the clock, we have them tell our captain we’re not going to do it. Toronto doesn’t step in, refs don’t do their freaking job and now we lose a game, and we lose our goalie. So, the chain of events, if it was done right, we don’t lose our goalie, we win the hockey game. So, all this goddamn technology, right? The technology and getting things right… the stubbornness tonight, by the officials and by the league and Toronto, however it’s supposed to goddamn work, screws us

It’s ridiculous. I’m not taking any goddamn questions.”

To add a little context, the Blackhawks were penalized for too many men on the ice with roughly 20 seconds left in overtime. The clock inexplicably ran down to 18.2 seconds and was never corrected. Then, Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski scored less than half a second after the buzzer sounded forcing the game to go to a shootout.

In the shootout, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews made a move to his backhand and scored but Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo left the game with an apparent leg injury and did not return to complete the shootout.

The Blue Jackets were wronged by the NHL and lost out on a crucial point. The question is, will this type of mistake be a catalyst and force the League to create a system in which this easily avoidable mistake is corrected on the spot?

Only time will tell, but for now the Blue Jackets will suffer the consequences.