The Boston off-ice officials served up some additional punishment for a pair of players in Monday night’s Game 2 between the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders.

New York’s Matt Martin and Boston’s Nick Ritchie went off with matching minors for roughing at 12:09 of the second period. Under Rule 19, the teams would skate four aside:

When one minor penalty is assessed to one player of each team at the same stoppage in play, these penalties will be served without substitution provided there are no other penalties in effect and visible on the penalty clocks. Both teams will therefore play four skaters against four skaters for the duration of the minor penalties.

The penalties would both go up on the clock, with each guy getting sprung from the box with 5:51 to play, right?

Well, that’s what should have happened.

Instead, the penalties were booked and the teams skated four-on-four, but the penalty box doors didn’t open when those two minutes were up.  The timekeeper appeared to treat the situation like subsequent coincidental minor penalties.  In those situations – when a player is already in the penalty box prior to the coincidental minors being handed out – the penalty time does not go on the clock and the players sit for their full two minutes or more; in those cases, the penalized player has to wait until the next stoppage in play before leaving the penalty box and returning to the bench.

…all players will serve their allotted penalty time, but will not be released until the first stoppage of play following the expiration of their respective penalties.

It’s similar to how fighting majors or a ten-minute misconduct works.

The clock ticked down. 5:51 came and went, with both players up and ready to return, only to be denied passage.




Play eventually stopped with 4:33 remaining in the period when two players collided in the crease, knocking the net off its moorings.  The teams returned to 5-on-5, and Martin and Ritchie both returned to their respective benches — a full 1:18 later than they should have.

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz was frustrated, his team having given up five shot attempts – three on goal – during the four-on-four session.

Thankfully for the Isles — and the off-ice officials in Boston — no harm, no foul, no goal scored on the play.

Just a little more time served.