It was clear the Vancouver Canucks season was toast when the San Jose Sharks took a 3-0 series lead since there have been only three 0-3 deficit comebacks four times in North American professional sports history.
Fans had already stopped believing, but were hoping for a miracle comeback. The Canucks were playing in Game 4 to save face—to avoid a first round sweep.
The Canucks down 2-1 entering the third period tied the game at 9:12 on an Alexandre Burrows goal and then took the lead less than two minutes later after Alexander Edler scored on a slapshot from the point.
Then the controversy began.
Kevin Bieksa was called for a crosschecking penalty on Sharks forward Tommy Wingels, which might have been embellished on the part of Wingels. It appeared to be nothing more than a ‘push’ from Bieksa than a forceful crosscheck.
Joe Pavelski scored on the ensuring power play to tie the game.
Questionable call, but not as questionable and controversial as the penalty call on Daniel Sedin in overtime.
Sedin went shoulder to shoulder with Wingels in a battle for a loose puck. Wingels fell violently into the boards and a boarding penalty was assessed on the play by referee Kelly Sutherland, who was in the neutral zone. The referee closest to the play, Chris Lee, did not indicate a penalty.
Referee Kelly Sutherland on Daniel call: Deemed it a violent shove into the boards where the player couldn’t defend himself from the hit.
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) May 8, 2013
Regardless if Sutherland thought it was a penalty or not, he should have allowed his colleague closest to the play to make the call especially in overtime and in an elimination game.
The Canucks were not going to come back in this series. It just sucks it had to end like this.