Canucks Fans Throw Garbage to Ice After Confusing Penalty Call

Canucks forward Elias Pettersson was called for a charging penalty many fans didn't understand.

Getty Canucks forward Elias Pettersson was called for a charging penalty many fans didn't understand.

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in Game 5 of their second-round series, taking a 3-2 lead and putting themselves in a prime position to advance to the Western Conference final.

When everything pointed towards overtime hockey on Thursday, May 16, Canucks forward J.T. Miller scored the game-winning goal with just 33 seconds left in regulation to put his team ahead and complete a come-from-behind victory over the Oilers.

Game 5, as it’s been the case all series long, offered its fair share of controversy at least in the eyes of those watching it happen live on location. This time, a charging penalty called on Canucks’ Elias Pettersson for a hit on Oilers’ Warren Foegele caused the confusion.

With around 10 minutes left in the second period, the game tied at 2-2, and the Canucks on a power play, Warren Foegele tried to skate past Pettersson. The latter, however, blocked Foegele’s path delivering a reverse hit. The officials handed Pettersson a charging minor penalty.

Canucks fans in the stands for Game 5, taking place in Vancouver, were visibly confused and some threw trash to the rink and littered the ice with garbage and beer cups.

Penalty Call on Canucks’ Elias Pettersson Causes Confusion

Asked after the Game 5 win about the call and whether or not he received an explanation from the officials, Pettersson simply answered “No,” according to The Athletic’s Harman Dayal.

Watching the play, some fans thought Foegele had hit Pettersson going for a charge on the Canucks forward and not the other way around. However, there’s a catch, as explained by NHL insider Elliotte Friedman on X.

As Friedman pointed out in his post, Rule 42.1 of the NHL Rulebook states that “A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates, jumps into or charges an opponent in any manner.”

After that statement, Rule 42.1 adds, “Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A ‘charge’ may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame, or in open ice.”

Disagreement About the Charging Rule Leads to NHL Insiders’ Reactions

After the call took place and Pettersson was penalized, many hockey insiders and reporters shared their thoughts on it.

A few insiders acknowledged the existence of the rule while not agreeing with its application and the Game 5 call.

“[I] know what the rule says, ” The Athletic’s Shayna Goldman wrote on X. “[I] still do not agree with the call.”

Insider Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff called the officials’ decision “the most dubious penalty” in a message post on X, while also reporting that “trash is raining down onto the ice at Rogers Arena” from the stands.

ESPN’s Ray Ferraro simply called Game 5 “a terribly officiated game.” Ferraro’s interpretation of the rule/penalty called on Pettersson, however, could be wrong as he wrote “I believe you have to be moving to get called for charging.”

Carson Soucy Returns, Helsp Canucks beat Oilers in Game 5

Miller scored the game-winning goal in the Canucks victory. Vancouver holds a 3-2 lead with only two (potentially) games remaining in the series against the Oilers.

That said, the Canucks welcomed back another key member of their team, Carson Soucy, after the NHL suspended him for Game 4 due to a postgame hit on Oilers superstar Connor McDavid.

Soucy scored the Canucks first goal of Game 5, tying the contest at 1-1 late in the first period. Phillip Di Giuseppe, also returning after missing Game 4 (personal reasons) scored in the second period to tie the game again at 2-2 before Miller’s final goal at 19:27 in the final stanza.

Rookie Arturs Silovs made 21 saves for the Canucks, while his opponent in Edmonton’s net, Calvin Pickard, saved 32 shots. Evander Kane and Mattias Janmark scored the two Oilers goals on Thursday, but that wasn’t enough to lift their team over Vancouver.

The series returns to Edmonton for Game 6 on Saturday, when the Canucks will have their first shot at clinching a place in the conference finals.

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