It’s Good to Be the Sharks: Another Big Refereeing Decision Benefits San Jose

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Who are the M.V.P. candidates for the San Jose Sharks so far in these playoffs? Well, there’s Logan Couture, who has 14 goals. Erik Karlsson has 13 assists. Martin Jones is 10-6 in goal with a 2.89 goals-against average.

But consider this leading candidate: the referees. San Jose has been the lucky recipient of at least three big calls or noncalls, one in each of its series, most recently on Wednesday night.

The team’s good fortune began in Game 7 of the first round of the N.H.L. playoffs, against the Vegas Golden Knights. With 10 minutes to play and San Jose on the brink of elimination, down by 3-0, Joe Pavelski was crosschecked by Cody Eakin of Vegas. Pavelski hit the ice hard and was knocked unconscious.

The referees decided the hit was worth a five-minute major and a game misconduct. The Golden Knights did not agree.

Wednesday night wasn’t another Game 7, but the Sharks did benefit from the referees’ actions. With the series tied at one game each, Game 3 went to overtime.

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