Four more zebras may be out of the playoffs.
According to a report from Andy Strickland of FOX Sports, the officials from Game 3 of the Western Conference Final between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues are done for the postseason.
Referees Marc Joannette and Dan O’Rourke worked the game with linesmen Matt MacPherson and Jonny Murray.
The Sharks got away with a hand-pass that went undetected on the ice prior to their game-winning goal in overtime. The play was not eligible for video review.
NHL Senior Vice President Colin Campbell admitted that the officials missed the call on the ice.
“That was the wrong call,” said Campbell. “It should’ve been a whistle.”
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly also weighed in on the play.
“It was an unfortunate miss by our on-ice officials,” Daly told Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic. “They were among our most highly performance rated officials in our League this year. Mistakes happen and I think everyone involved on both teams and with the league understand that.”
“Can we create a better mousetrap to minimize either the incidence or impact of those mistakes? That’s what our Competition Committee, our GMs and ultimately our Board will have to figure out. For now, we will turn the page and move on.”
The NHL reduces the active officiating staff each round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Eight referees and eight linesmen are assigned to work the Conference Finals. That number will be halved, with four refs and four linesmen handling the Stanley Cup Final.