The biggest storyline from the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins series is the officiating. In fact, that’s been the story for just about every series in the playoffs so far this season. After Game 5, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy called out the officiating crew for penalizing his team more than the Islanders.
Cassidy wasn’t a fan of how refs Francis Charron and Francois St.Laurent called the game. Those comments earned him a cool $25,000 fine from the NHL.
So today, when the referee assignments were announced and Charron and St.Laurent weren’t named for the Isles game, Boston media (specifically NESN) figured the NHL heard their pleas and granted them better officials.
And, well, that’s not even remotely the case.
New refs for New York Islanders Game 6 isn’t a smoking gun is standard
Referees change every game. Literally. Every game features a different set of officials. In this series, no set of officials have called back-to-back games. This is not, as NESN would have you believe, as a direct result of the Bruins complaints about officiating. It’s standard practice.
Referees Dan O’Rouke and Gord Dwyer were assigned to officiate Game 6 at the Nassau Coliseum. Both were in charge of Game 2 in Boston. On that night, they called ten penalty minutes for the Bruins to the Islanders eight. The Islanders had three power-play opportunities to the Bruins two. The Isles scored two PP goals that night.
Not only is this a non-issue this actually seems to be worse for the Bruins.
I know the Bruins and their fan base is sweating right now with the series headed back to Long Island and the Islanders holding a 3-2 lead. But the Bruins are a really good team. If they stop taking bad penalties (as they’ve done all year long) and remembered how to kill a penalty they have a good chance at forcing Game 7 without all of these shenanigans.