Isles’ Trotz calls out refs for missed call in loss

Isles’ Trotz calls out refs for missed call in loss

12:51 AM ET

  • Greg WyshynskiESPN

    Close

      Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.

TAMPA, Fla. — Barry Trotz was livid on the New York Islanders’ bench.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ondrej Palat had just scored to give his team a 2-1 lead in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup playoff semifinal series on Tuesday night. He did so as the referees and linesmen missed that the Lightning had seven skaters on the ice at the same time, which should have stopped play.

Trotz yelled at the referees, failing to get their attention. Later, his assistant coach, Lane Lambert, used his video tablet to call up a screen grab, showing the Lightning with too many men on the ice. Trotz pointed to the visual aid as he continued to bellow at the officials following the second-period goal.

“The second goal hurt quite a bit. [Because] if they get the third one, there’s a little bit more separation,” Trotz said after the game.

The Lightning would get that third goal, off the stick of defenseman Jan Rutta in the third period, en route to a 4-2 victory over the Islanders to even their series at 1-1.

“Obviously you guys know there was too many men on the ice there,” Trotz said. “They had seven guys. Disappointed in that. But we tried to battle through.”

The NHL does not have “too many men on the ice” penalties as something eligible for its video goal reviews or coaches’ challenges. Thus, the goal stood. It was a critical one for the Lightning.

“It was missed,” Islanders forward Matt Martin said. “That’s hockey. It happens. Nothing we can do about it. Move on.”

There might have been a bit of hockey karma at play here, too. The Islanders tied the score in the first period on Brock Nelson’s power-play goal, following a baffling penalty on Lightning center Brayden Point.

Point received a pass as he skated through the slot toward the Islanders’ goal. New York defenseman Adam Pelech appeared to forcefully cross-check Point into Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov. Point bowled over Varlamov as the Lightning player slid into the goal.

NHL rules state that a player who is “pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper” did not violate goalie interference rules.

NHL concussion spotters pulled Varlamov from the game, as Islanders backup Ilya Sorokin finished the first period. Varlamov started the second period and finished the game.

Afterward, Lightning coach Jon Cooper acknowledged the call was incorrect.

“We all saw the call,” he said. “It was a tough decision for the refs to make. Especially when they tell you he put his hands up to hit the goalie, when he clearly didn’t do that. It’s a game of high rate of speed, and the refs are in a bind about that. But in those situations, you have to weather through that. In the end, you have to kill the penalty off, and we didn’t.”

Game 2 was a physical affair that featured 54 penalty minutes combined from the teams, including a fight between Martin and Tampa Bay forward Pat Maroon.

“Calls aren’t going to go your way. Some calls aren’t going to go the Islanders’ way. That’s just the way things go. But you have to stay the course, and I thought our guys did a good job there,” Cooper said.

New York and Tampa Bay meet again on Thursday night in Game 3, as the action shifts to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.