Mike Milbury: Officials' non-call on Ryan Reaves goal 'unforgivable'

Chris Lingebach
May 29, 2018 - 10:19 am

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

NBC analyst Mike Milbury, in a rare impassioned defense of the Capitals, says it was "unforgivable" for NHL officials to miss a cross-checking call against Vegas winger Ryan Reaves in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Reaves' game-tying goal came two minutes and 41 seconds into the third period, and proved a critical turning point in the game as the Golden Knights took control from there and wouldn't relinquish it.

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While no one can argue whether the puck went in the net, one certainly can argue that Reaves carved out a nice scoring lane for himself, clearly cross-checking Caps defenseman John Carlson in front of the net, in full view of the officials, before putting the puck past Braden Holtby.

One may also argue that had the call been made, the goal would have been overturned and Washington would have gone on the power play, because that would have been the case. So instead of a chance to take a commanding 5-3 lead, the Caps were deadlocked 4-4 with the Golden Knights in the final period.

"It is absolutely ludicrous," Milbury said during NBC's post-game coverage. "This is like a receiver in football pushing down his defensive back in the end zone and catching a touchdown pass by himself."

"It's just unforgivable. You've got two officials, one you can see right there. Make the call," he said. "You have to make the call. It's a turning point in the game. This is just not right at all. If you're a Washington fan or John Carlson and you think you got bagged, you did. You got sandbagged right here. He's got every right to be this angry at officials who missed it."

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After the goal, NBC cameras panned over to a lively Reaves on the bench, mouthing along to Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher" blaring through T-Mobile Arena speakers.

"And there's Reaves at the other end, singing with Cab Calloway. Hi-dee hi-dee-ho," Milbury said. "Why not? I'd be singing hi-dee hi-dee-ho if I got that kind of break."

"That ticked me off," he said. "That was unforgivable from the officials. Unforgivable."

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