There's another Leafs reffing controversy brewing ahead of Game 2

Apr 20 2023, 6:31 pm

There’s another reffing controversy brewing for the Toronto Maple Leafs in their first-round playoff matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“The Leafs had Wes McCauley for Game 1. Tonight, they get Eric Furlatt for Game 2 — the official who called the Holl interference penalty in Game 7 vs. TBL last year,” popular official watchdog Scouting The Refs tweeted on Thursday morning.

For context, Leafs defenceman Justin Holl’s interference penalty in Game 7 was one of the turning points in last year’s Toronto-Tampa Bay matchup.

The Leafs appeared to tie the game 1-1 midway through the second, but Furlatt waved the goal off due to Holl’s bump into Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli.

What’s the deal with the Leafs and McCauley?

Tampa Bay was awarded eight power play opportunities in Game 1 to Toronto’s four, scoring four separate times with the man advantage as they won the game 7-4.

One of the key factors — depending on who you ask — was referee Wes McCauley, who doesn’t exactly have the most favourable history when it comes to Toronto come postseason time. 

As pointed out by Scouting the Refs, Toronto is now 0-8 in playoff games where McCauley is on the officiating crew (though they did go 5-0-1 with McCauley working games this past regular season).

There’s a potentially darker side to the Toronto misfortune: Leafs coach Keefe is a former client of disgraced hockey agent and junior hockey coach David Frost, with the former testifying against the latter in a 2008 abuse trial.

Meanwhile, Frost, who now goes by the name Jim McCauley, is a brother-in-law of Wes McCauley’s, as the referee is married to Frost’s sister.

Naturally, Leafs fans had quite the reaction to the news of Furlatt’s appointment.

Non-Leafs fans weren’t all that kind to those complaining.

Well, we’ll see you all tomorrow to see exactly who was in the right here.

Game 2 of the series is set for Thursday night, where the Leafs once again host the Lightning for a 7:00 pm ET puck drop.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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