Bottom Six Minutes: Some of the best officiating you’ll ever see

Some of the best officiating the NHL can have allowed a great hockey game to be great on Saturday.

The Montreal Canadiens finally snapped their losing streak after seven games, defeating the St. Louis Blues 5-4 in a great Saturday night game. Though it won’t help with their odds in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes, they deserved that win, and players like Joel Armia and Jonathan Drouin truly needed the boost of confidence that they’ll get from it. It was a very enjoyable game overall from a fan perspective.

This isn’t something you’ll see me say often, but what made it all the more enjoyable was how well that game was officiated.

I’m usually quick to talk about the officials being bad, so I decided to put a focus on just how good they were in this game. We didn’t see any phantom calls, makeup calls, or game management. They just did their jobs well, called a fair game, and allowed a great game of hockey to simply be great.

What was most impressive was their ability to correct their own mistakes like the one above. They missed the high stick on Kirby Dach, utilize their ability to review the play, and make the correct call as a result. They also came together later in that period to discuss, and eventually call, a high stick committed against Jonathan Drouin that initially appeared as if it was missed.

The humility of Jean Hebert and Carter Sandlak to seek out their own errors and endeavour to correct them was refreshing. Too often we see NHL officials refuse to believe they could have possibly made an error, and these two welcomed the opportunity to make sure they were corrected. It was excellent.

Even the calls going the other way, there was nothing to argue. They made a holding call on Michael Pezzetta in the third period where he pinned his check against the boards by wrapping his stick arm around him and holding him there. This doesn’t get called often enough, it’s the right call, and they made it immediately. If I had three wishes, I’d ask for Connor Bedard, a Stanley Cup in Montreal, and for every game I watch for the rest of my life to be officiated like that one.

I’m sure that will never happen, and I’ll likely be back here complaining about Zebras in the future, but for now it’s quite nice to be able to say that the officials really let the players shine on a Saturday night.

Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, also available wherever you get your podcasts. Enjoy your Sunday, and we’ll be back for a Monday night Habs matchup with the Seattle Kraken.

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