The Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes have put on one of the more compelling Stanley Cup Playoff series of the postseason, but the entertainment value off the ice has been just as good as the on-ice performances.
The banter between the two clubs began prior to the start of the postseason but escalated after Nashville’s 5-4 double-overtime win in Game 3 at Bridgestone Arena Friday. 'Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour publicly objected to the treatment of his team by the referees, stating in not so many words that the Predators were the beneficiaries of some favorable calls that Carolina wasn’t receiving.
“We’re in a battle; Nashville’s a phenomenal team,” Brind’Amour said following Game 3. “But we’re also fighting the refs. That’s plain and simple. You can’t tell me two games in a row, they get seven or eight (power plays) and (we) get three? When the game is this even? It’s not right.
“I give my guys tons of credit for playing their butts off. They had a good chance to win. (It’s) not right. Two overtimes? A knick-knack penalty, when there was stuff going on all over and they score the next shift because we’re out of rotation? That’s not how it should go.”
Typically frowned upon, publicly calling out the performance of referees is normally met with a fine from the NHL league office. That’s exactly what Predators General Manager David Poile thinks should happen to Brind’Amour and the Hurricanes, stating during a radio interview Tuesday on 102.5 The Game, “I hope they get fined for that.”
The NHL hasn't taken any action yet, although it would seem likely that Brind’Amour has some discipline coming his way. He was fined $25,000 for criticizing referees Chris Lee and Francis Charron after a double-overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during the playoffs last year.
Following that incident, the NHL issued a statement assessing a conditional $25,000 fine "which will be collected, in addition to any subsequent discipline, in the event of similar inappropriate behavior through Aug. 12, 2021."
Friday's tirade would seem to fall in line with similar inappropriate behavior.
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