Rangers fought through poor officiating to earn crucial win over Blue Jackets

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) argues with referee Brandon Blandina (39) in the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

No game is perfect. There’s always going to be missed calls by the referees, and that’s just a part of the game. But the New York Rangers had to fight an uphill battle last night, a tough game that miraculously ended in a 4–3 shootout win for the Blueshirts.

The officiating in this Rangers’ matchup was pathetic. Had the Rangers not been absolutely perfect, the referees would have handed the Blue Jackets a free win. It’s a shame to put this much blame on the league, but there is no excuse for what was seen in last night’s game.

Cuylle tied the game for the Rangers (Just kidding)

When the Rangers found themselves down by a goal, it appeared that rookie Will Cuylle tied the game for the Blueshirts. He ripped a shot from the corner, skated past the net, and motioned a goal as he saw the puck past the goal line with his own eyes. It was originally ruled a no-goal, but after reviewing the footage, fans of both franchises knew the puck had entered the net.

Despite indisputable evidence, the referees apparently saw something different. After what was a questionably long review, it was declared that the men in stripes were “planning on blowing the whistle.”

That’s not how hockey works. A goal was scored, there was no whistle, and it should have counted. The Rangers tied the game, but the referees refused to follow the rules. Had Alexis Lafreniere not heroically tied the game in the final minute, the Rangers would have lost the game.

Penalties apparently don’t count… unless they’re against the Rangers

The poor officiating went far beyond the missed goal call. Numerous penalty calls were questionable, and all of them hurt the Rangers’ chances of securing this victory.

To start things off, Jacob Trouba was wrongfully handed a two minute minor. He had a clean hit against a Blue Jacket, was approached with aggression for it, and defended himself. But rather than giving a roughing call on Columbus, Trouba was sent to the box for his actions. It was so bad that even Sam Rosen openly expressed his disappointment with the referees.

Later in the game, Ryan Lindgren was both interfered with and elbowed. The refs initially made the correct call by administering a five minute major, but it was then reduced to a two minute minor.

About halfway through the third period, Erik Gustafsson found himself on a breakaway. He was clearly interfered with on the play, and whether you would call it a hooking or a trip, the referees still decided to let the play go on. It seemed as if the officials were doing everything in their power to stop the Rangers from winning.

The Rangers still pulled off a massive win

Tonight’s victory gave the Rangers their tenth straight game with a point. Their win streak is back up to three straight, and things seem to still be going well.

The NHL should take a look into tonight’s officiating. The Rangers’ earlier win over Carolina was a poorly officiated match, but tonight’s game proved to be even worse. If one thing is for certain, it’s that even when the world is against them, the Blueshirts will always find a way to come out on top.

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