When you lose a 5 OT contest as the Blue Jackets did against the Lightning (3-2, 5 OT) in Game 1, you’ll probably wonder “What if?” about certain moments. For many Blue Jackets fans (and probably players/coaches), one key moment boiled down to: “What if they called that penalty?”
That would-be penalty certainly was a dramatic moment.
While the Blue Jackets were shorthanded in 5 OT after a delay of game — one of only two penalties over five overtime periods, both in Tampa Bay’s favor — Cam Atkinson broke loose. Victor Hedman took Atkinson down and disrupted Atkinson’s breakaway. Officials didn’t make a call — not a penalty or a penalty shot.
Should they have made that call? It depends upon who you ask.
Seth Jones of the Blue Jackets didn’t sound very pleased with the officiating, overall:
Seth Jones says he wants an explanation on non-call on Hedman. "Kinda suspect all night," he says of officiating.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) August 12, 2020
While John Tortorella looked fiery on the bench, he — probably wisely — avoided the question.
#CBJ John Tortorella doesn’t wait for his first question post-game from media, instead opens with a directive:
“I’ll tell ya … don’t ask me about the non-call.”
Here’s why … https://t.co/VJNkVLgNyp
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) August 12, 2020
As you can see from the video above this post’s headline, Patrick Sharp believes that a non-call was the right call, though. Interesting.
What do you think? Should it have been a call? Were the circumstances a factor? On one hand, it’s tough to get a call in a fifth overtime period. On the other, the Lightning just did, as they were on the power play during the fifth OT.
Now, we could have another, protracted discussion about how the rulebook shouldn’t change at different points in a contest, season, or postseason. But it’s pretty clear that context matters.
On a broader note, the Blue Jackets may be wise to tread lightly. While mentioning that call is fair, they also might prefer that officials generally put their whistles away in this series. After all, the Lightning boast a terrifying power play, while Columbus didn’t score a single PPG in their five-game series against the Maple Leafs.
PHT Coverage of Lightning Blue Jackets 5 OT Game 1 (TB won 3-2)
Read up on the Lightning’s 3-2 win in a fifth overtime.
How that 5 OT Game 1 made history, from Joonas Korpisalo to Seth Jones.
How will Blue Jackets, Lightning handle fatigue after that marathon game?
Bubble Wrap: Three stars and more from Tuesday’s NHL playoff action.
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets (TB leads 1-0)
Tuesday, Aug. 11: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2
Thursday, Aug. 13: Columbus at Tampa Bay, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 15: Tampa Bay at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Monday, Aug. 17: Tampa Bay at Columbus, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Wednesday, Aug. 19: Columbus at Tampa Bay – TBD
*Friday, Aug. 21: Tampa Bay at Columbus – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Columbus at Tampa Bay – TBD
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.