Auston Matthews
Photo credit: The Canadian Press

NHL referee explains Why Josh Manson Wasn't Penalized for Hit on Auston Matthews and it's ridiculous

Published January 14, 2024 at 9:23
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The Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs had a thrilling back and forth affair on Saturday night that resulted in a 5-3 Avalanche win. The Avalanche stormed back from being down 3-0 to win the game, but there were a few glaring reasons as to how the Avalanche were able to come back, and most of that comes down to NHL referee game management.

Keefe not happy with the referees or his team



With the game tied 3-3, Auston Matthews was battling for a puck when Josh Manson came in and cross-checked the Maple Leafs star. In the post-game scrum head coach Sheldon Keefe was asked about that play and answered:

"The ref told me he didn't get cross-checked, he fell by himself into the boards. Those are my feelings, I guess he didn't get cross-checked."




Matthews was in obvious pain after the play but still finished the game.

Keefe was not blaming the referees though, as that usually comes with a cost for coaches in the NHL, but also put blame on the Maple Leaf players. With a few notable quips.

"stopped playing"

"We have one line going"

Keefe also benched Tyler Bertuzzi in the third period as the player only saw a couple early shifts.

Game disparity on display in the game that may have attributed to the score



William Nylander was asked his thoughts on the game and he responded being somewhat critical of the referees.

"It's a tough one to lose like that but I think we really didn't get any power-plays, either. I thought that was a little unfair tonight, but that's a tough one."

Nylander is right as there were a few calls that probably should have went Toronto's way, especially after there being zero calls both ways once the Avalanche scored a power play goal to make the game 3-1. That helped shift the momentum fully in the Avs court. The power play advantage was 4:1 for the Avalanche at the mark too.

Sometimes game management works and sometimes it does not. This is how NHL referees are told to call the game.

As Read On The Hockey News - 'The Ref Told Me He Didn't Get Cross-Checked, He Fell By Himself Into The Boards': Maple Leafs' Sheldon Keefe Explains Why Josh Manson Wasn't Penalized for Hit on Auston Matthews
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January 14   |   1118 answers
NHL referee explains Why Josh Manson Wasn't Penalized for Hit on Auston Matthews and it's ridiculous

Should the Avalanche have had another penalty?

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