benchIt’s a long season and head-scratching  things can happen or in this case, go unnoticed along the way.   Prime example Wednesday in the Canadiens 2-1 win over the Devils.

Late in the second period, the Canadiens executed a horrible line change while protecting at 1-0 lead and wound up with six men on the ice deep in the Devils zone.  Nobody in the building, at least in an official capacity, saw it except Sportsnet colour commentator Mike Johnson.

Usually the “too any men” penalty is the result of confusion right around the bench area.  Not in this case.

To start the sequence the Canadiens had the Plekanec/Pacioretty/Gallagher on the ice with Subban and Beaulieu. The puck was cleared down the ice. Pacioretty and Gallagher headed for the bench but Plekanec, who had cleared the puck, was forced to stay out as the Devils quickly moved the puck back out of their own zone. Next up was the Galchenyuk/Carr/Andrighetto line. Carr and Andrighetto jumped on to replace Pacioretty and Gallagher and Galchenyuk, obviously not paying attention to the Plekanec situation, also jumped.  Result – in Canadiens in the Devils zone and on the attack.

How nobody spotted it is beyond comprehension. Not the game officials.  Not the Devils bench. The Devils have their eye-in-the-sky coaches linked to the bench by radio. They didn’t spot it either. A check of the NHL official play-by-play also doesn’t show it.  You can see in the video at the end of the play that Plekanec knew what happened, but you can be guaranteed he wasn’t going to mention it when everyone else around him oblivious.

It’s a fast and often confusing game.  Stuff gets missed at times.  So be it.Count this one in that category.

You can watch it here –