The Los Angeles Kings were the better team and favorites for a reason in the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers, but to lose the Stanley Cup on a horrible penalty call by a referee is inexcusable.
In the 3rd period of Game 5, Rangers up 2-1 in the game and needing a win to stay alive since they were down 3-1 in the series, the team was called for a penalty which lead to a game tying power play goal. This lead to double overtime, and an eventual Kings’ win and their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons.
This penalty in the 3rd period, which changed the momentum of Game 5, was called on Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello for tripping Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin. However, in reality, it was Muzzin who stuck out his leg, tripped Zuccarello, and then jumped in the air in probably one of the best hockey dives I’ve ever seen. It was just like watching soccer.
The fact that in a Stanley Cup Finals game that a referee can fall for a blatant dive, a problem in which the NHL is specifically trying to crack down on, call a tripping penalty on the innocent party, changing the momentum of a game that ended up being a Stanley Cup Finals clinching game, is inexcusable and embarrassing to the league.
The Kings were most likely going to win the Stanley Cup anyway, but this great series was unfortunately cut short due to horrid officiating that the league has to be embarrassed of. If they are not embarrassed, then this league will continue to be the fourth major sport in this country.