Controversial goals are happening at an alarming rate for the San Jose Sharks, just past the midway point of the regular season.
By coach Todd McLellan’s count, it’s been one botched call for every 11 games his team has played, including Tuesday night in Nashville. A Roman Josi wrist shot that beat Antti Niemi was allowed to stand despite Colin Wilson laying flat on top of Niemi’s right pad, preventing the goalie from getting in front of the open portion of the net. Wilson did not appear to be pushed into the net by Marc-Edouard Vlasic, either.
It ended up as the game-winner in a 3-2 Predators victory.
On Nov. 5, the referees and video replay judges missed Tommy Wingels’ overtime goal against Buffalo. The Sharks lost in a shootout, 5-4.
Just five days later, it was Wingels in the middle of the action again, when Patrick Marleau’s apparent overtime marker was waived off due to Wingels coming in contact with Jets goalie Ondrej Pavalec. Again, the result was a 5-4 shootout loss.
On Dec. 8 in Minnesota, McLellan was displeased when Jason Pominville interfered with Niemi, in his view, leading to a Zach Parise rebound goal. The Sharks lost, 3-1.
He finally had enough after Tuesday’s defeat in Nashville.
“That’s a blown call,” McLellan said. “We’ve played 44 games. I go back to the Buffalo blown call in overtime, blown call in Winnipeg, the one in Minnesota, and the one tonight. That’s one in every 11 games.
“I understand mistakes because I make a lot of them behind the bench, but when you get an explanation from a group of people and it didn’t happen, it’s disappointing. There is also protocol to follow in our league, which is that you get together and you discuss it – that didn’t happen either. So, obviously I’m not very happy with it.”
According to McLellan, the referees ruled that Wilson pushed Vlasic into Niemi, although replays seemed to show otherwise.
The Sharks were beneficiaries of one substantial call in their favor in a game against Dallas on Dec. 21, when an early whistle negated a Colton Sceviour goal in the second period. The Sharks won, 3-2 in a shootout.