Referee Wes McCauley brought his regular-season intensity to the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Amalie Arena on Sunday.
McCauley, known for his excitable penalty and goal announcements, delivered another beauty during the Atlantic Division's 7-4 win against the Metropolitan Division in the second semifinal game, informing players, coaches and fans that an apparent goal by Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson would not count because the play was offside.
A recent announcement from the veteran referee during a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden went viral.
"The kids tell me. They see them and they show me," McCauley said. "It's just who I am. I'm out there, in the game, and I'm fired up."
There is no coach's challenge in the All-Star Game, so Metropolitan coach Barry Trotz had to wait to see if the play was placed under official review. It was.
"Maybe hockey ops just wanted to hear Wes do an announcement," Stephen Walkom, NHL VP and director of officiating, said with a laugh. "Wes is probably thinking, 'This is the last thing I want to do.'"
"We talked about the coach's challenge and with no monitors, the League handled that and they just wanted to get it right," Trotz said. "Obviously, there is some cash on the line ($1 million to the winning team) if you will. They just wanted to get it right, so they had a real good process and everything in place. If you look at it, they made the right call."
The right call is important. The emphatic call is just for fun.
After video review showed Nikita Kucherov was offside before Karlsson entered the offensive zone with the puck, McCauley, as he does, made sure everyone knew the decision.
Karlsson was shown smiling on the bench and flipping his gloves in the air in mock disbelief.
"The way he set it up too, I thought he was going to say good goal, but then he switched to offside last second on me," Karlsson said. "But it was all in good fun. Obviously, we won that game so we moved on from it."
Did they ever.
Twelve seconds after the disallowed goal, Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel scored and, just as Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews did last week when he scored quickly after a disallowed goal, Eichel signaled the goal for himself. Matthews, who was out on the ice with him at the time, also joined in on the signal.