So, what will the hockey world be talking about all day Thursday (and probably Friday, too)? Give you one hint: #handpass.
More to the point, the seemingly missed handpass that led to the Sharks' game-winning goal in overtime vs. the Blues on Wednesday. The four on-ice officials — referees Dan O'Rourke and Marc Joannette and linesmen Matt MacPherson and Jonny Murray — didn't see or didn't judge that Timo Meier's right hand directed the puck to teammate Gustav Nyquist. Nyquist then fed Erik Karlsson, who beat Jordan Binnington to give San Jose a 5-4 win in Game 3 and a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference finals.
The play was not reviewable.
A league executive offered non-answers when asked whether Meier made an illegal play in the San Jose offensive zone, but the responses by prominent non-St. Louis, non-San Jose hockey Twitter people were much less circumspect: This was a bad miss by the men in stripes and the league:
@nhl you have to figure out how to get the right calls. It’s the Stanley Cup playoffs. You have video. Take the 20secs you need and make the correct call. It was a great game and shouldn’t have been decided by a miscall. Every goal should be reviewed so they get the right call— Martin St.Louis (@mstlouis_26) May 16, 2019
[hand pass leads directly to a game-winning playoff OT goal] we’d love to review that but we can’t— DL (@davelozo) May 16, 2019
[player’s toenail is 0.000000005 centimeters offside on a zone entry that occurs four minutes before a goal] we have to have disallow that goal
That defies belief. Four officials, no one sees the hand pass. Toronto knows it was a hand pass but can’t overrule.— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) May 16, 2019
I mean ... yeah. That’s a hand pass. Hate the way that all unfolded.— Justin Bourne (@jtbourne) May 16, 2019
Dear NHL: I hate calling you a garage league, but... How can none of the four officials see a GWG in OT tonight that was set up by an illegal hand pass? Sharks 5, Blues 4, NHL 0.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) May 16, 2019
Although a “NON REVIEWABLE” play, linesmen have the opportunity to come in and say “that was a BLATANT hand pass, it’s no goal” ... then we carry on the game and nobody would say a thing.— Scottie Upshall (@ScottieUpshall) May 16, 2019
How do 4 officials miss the hand pass?— Linda Cohn (@lindacohn) May 16, 2019
Even if the puck grazes the leg of the defender, as it might have here, it’s still considered a hand pass https://t.co/AsktIkgwwN— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) May 16, 2019
"The referees cannot call what they didn't see."— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) May 16, 2019
A hand pass, unseen by the referees, gifted the San Jose Sharks the overtime game winner in Game 3 over the St. Louis Blues.
Game recap: https://t.co/55TFh8iYCb pic.twitter.com/f62iZRHXiB
The Officials missed the Hand Pass. It is not a reviewable play.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) May 16, 2019
EKarlsson at 5:23 of OT. https://t.co/Dct3buXoy2
WOW Meier got an assist on that OT winner?? I always knew he had some sweet “hands”— Anson Carter (@AnsonCarterLA) May 16, 2019
Timo Meier gloves the puck into the slot Erik Karlsson with the winner. What a mess for the league.— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) May 16, 2019
Game 4 of the series is Friday in St. Louis. By time the puck drops around 8 p.m. ET, the #handpass will have been sliced, diced and ground into the ice. There will be new calls/missed calls/bad calls to put under the microscope.