St. Louis says it’s done feeling the ‘hand pass’ blues

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues have officially moved on from the Game 3 controversy.

“Seriously, it’s over,” said coach Craig Berube on Thursday morning.

Added defenseman Jay Bouwmeester: “It’s done — no use looking back.”

Vladimir Tarasenko had a fresh take on Erik Karlsson’s goal at 5:23 of the extra session that gave the Sharks a 5-4 win and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference championship series.

“It’s not going to change anyway,” said Tarasenko, who scored in the second period to pull the Blues to within 3-2.

Karlsson scored his second goal of the game on a play that began with an apparent hand pass. Timo Meier batted the puck with his gloved right hand to Gustav Nyquist, who then slid it across to a wide-open Karlsson.

The officials met for a couple minutes before deciding to allow the goal to stand. Kay Whitmore, the NHL officiating supervisor for the series, explained after the contest that the play was, “non-reviewable.”

The Blues lashed out in anger as the crowd pelted the ice with bottles and debris. Brayden Schenn and goaltender Jordan Binnington banged their sticks against the glass. Several players lashed out at the officials in their postgame comments.

Doug Armstrong, the Blues President of Hockey Operations, pounded his fist on the door to the officials’ dressing room, uttering a couple words.

But most in the St. Louis camp appeared to have calmed down after sleeping on the incident.

“It’s hard, it’s a test,” Berube said. “Our team has moved past it.”

Berube lamented the Blues’ chances to put the game away in the third period before Logan Couture scored with 61 seconds left to send the contest into overtime.

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Jaden Schwartz hit the side of the net on a shot from the neutral zone with 1:46 left after goalie Martin Jones had been pulled for an extra attacker. St. Louis iced the puck twice in a 6-second span beginning with 1:26 remaining.

“We had an opportunity to close that game out in regulation and we didn’t,” Berube said. “That’s how I look at it.”

Bouwmeester agreed: “Bottom line is we let the game get into overtime. Anything (in OT) can happen.”

Berube tried to accentuate the positives. Tarasenko bounced back with a strong performance after struggling in the first game of the series.

“He’s gotten better,” Berube said. “He’s working hard without the puck and that’s a big thing.”

The defense …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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