It's been a fraught postseason for officiating during the Stanley Cup Playoffs as NHL referees have been accused of a series of blunders and non-calls that have influenced the outcomes of critical games and series.
But after Montreal's Game 4 loss to the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, many Habs fans are taking it to a different level: They are calling for a referee to be fired.
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"In recent years, we have already noticed Chris Lee for all the wrong reasons in the hockey world. Whether it's for goals, or questionable penalties," states a Change.org petition, which has gathered over 26,000 signatures as of the time of writing.
"However, in the last two games, opposing the Montreal Canadiens and the Vegas Golden Knights, we have seen time and time again the inability of Chris Lee to do his job as a referee in the NHL. Whether it's for a number of dubious decisions, or for his ill-concealed favouritism, we, as NHL fans, demand the immediate dismissal of Chris Lee."
MTL Blog has reached out to the NHL Officials Association for comment on this story. This article will be updated when we receive a response.
Though the petition might not cost the veteran referee his job, Lee wasn't officiating Game 5, which the Canadiens went on to win, so there's that.
Many hockey pundits criticized Lee for his performance in Game 4 after not calling a roughing penalty on Brayden McNabb's punch to Nick Suzuki's face at the end of the second period, though he seemed to have a good view of the incident.
And then in the third, Tomáš Nosek's blatant hit on Shea Weber from behind, a potentially dangerous play, did not result in a penalty.