The Detroit Red Wings held a 2-1 lead entering the third period of game six against the Chicago Blackhawks and when they started the third period the wheels fell off the wagon. The Red Wings were down 3-2 when Blackhawks forward Michael Frolik found himself on a breakaway. Red Wings defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo backchecked and took a swing at Frolik, hitting his stick and causing him to lose control of the puck. The referees then awarded a penalty shot, where Frolik went down and buried this slick backhander top glove on goalie Jimmy Howard. The goal gave the Blackhawks a 4-2 lead and ended up being the game-winning goal in their 4-3 victory.
Was the play by Colaiacovo a slash? Yes. Did it warrant a penalty shot? No. Sure Frolik lost control of the puck, but this is perhaps the weakest penalty shot call I’ve seen. There was a play with about five minutes left in the third period where Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad was hauled down on a semi-breakaway by Red Wings defenseman Jakub Kindl that was more deserving of a penalty shot. What Colaiacovo did is done multiple times throughout the year and never warrants a penalty shot, so why call it here in the third period of a crucial game six? The refs blew this call and it ended up putting the game out of reach for the Red Wings.
Some examples of worse plays without penalty shots:
Either they are all penalty shots, or none of them are. The inconsistency in officiating is an atrocity to the NHL.