Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour questioned the officiating after a 5-4 overtime loss in Game 3 against the Nashville Predators.
“We played our butts off. We played great, we played hard, we’re playing a great team. We’re in a battle. Nashville’s a phenomenal team. But we’re also fighting the refs. That’s plain and simple,” Brind’Amour said. “You can’t tell me two games in a row, they get seven or eight [power plays] and [we] get three? When the game is this even? It’s not right.”
The Predators have had 17 power plays this series, while Carolina has had 10.
Game 1 saw a total of 20 penalty minutes handed out; 14 to the Hurricanes. Two of those penalties were automatic puck-over-glass calls. Carolina scored once on three power play chances, while Nashville scored once in seven opportunities.
18 of the 28 penalty minutes in Game 2 went to the Hurricanes. One was for puck-over-glass. The Canes were 1-for-3 on the power play, while Nashville went 0-for-7.
The Predators picked up more penalties in Game 3, called for 22 minutes vs. the Canes 20. Nashville had three power plays to Carolina’s four; both teams were scoreless with the man advantage.
“I give my guys tons of credit for playing their butts off. They had a good chance to win,” Brind’Amour said, before shaking his head. “[It’s] not right. Two overtimes? A knick-knack penalty, when there was stuff going on all over and they score the next shift because we’re out of rotation? That’s not how it should go.”
Carolina’s Maxim Lajoie was called for hooking in the second overtime of game 3. While the Hurricanes killed off the penalty, Nashville scored on the following shift.
Brind’Amour’s comments may prove costly. He was fined $25,000 for criticizing referees Chris Lee and Francis Charron after a playoff loss. That ruling also included a conditional fine “which will be collected, in addition to any subsequent discipline, in the event of similar inappropriate behavior through Aug. 12, 2021.”
No word on whether the league will take action and levy a fine for this incident, or if the conditional fine will be assessed.
The Canes have had different officiating crews for each match this series. Francis Charron and Jon McIsaac handled Game 1, Chris Lee and Jean Hebert worked Game 2, and Garrett Rank and Kelly Sutherland were paired up for Game 3. Officiating manager Rob Shick, who refereed 1451 games over 23 seasons before his retirement in 2009, is the series supervisor.
Game 4 is Sunday, with a new crew of officials.