Fans have a right to be upset following Sunday's game, but their beef shouldn't be solely with the on-ice officials

On Sunday night, there was some brutal officiating in Boston. Fans were irate, as they should be, but their beef should be focused elsewhere other than just on the ice.
Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers
Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

Throughout their series with the Florida Panthers, the Boston Bruins, and their fans, have made it known that they feel slighted - to say the least - by the officiating in the series. While officiating isn't all to blame for the Panthers' effectiveness in the series, it seemingly has been the Bruins' downfall as of late. Game 4 was no different.

Just under two minutes into the second period, Hampus Lindholm was called for interference, and Boston was nearly able to kill off the penalty, going 1:59 before Florida's Sam Bennett scored on a rebound that seemingly found his stick magically.

When replay showed that Bennett seemingly cross-checked Bruins' forward Charlie Coyle into goaltender Jeremy Swayman, preventing the netminder from being able to get across and make a play on the puck, head coach Jim Montgomery sprung into action and went to challenge the play.

The goal was ultimately... Wait for it... Upheld. And fans were irate to say the absolute least. Montgomery was assessed a two-minute minor for an unsuccessful challenge as a result.

Chants of "ref you suck" and other obscenities I can't post on here were shouted from the TD Garden seats, and for good reason, the call directly violated Rule 69.1 in the NHL rulebook that states:

"If a defending player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by an attacking play so as to cause the defending player to come into contact with his own goalkeeper, such contact shall be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, and if necessary an penalty assessed to the attacking player and if a goal is scored it would be disallowed."

Clear as day, it's a violation of the rules. However, the cacophony of boos and "ref you suck" chants are warranted, but can also be direct at Toronto. Why you ask? According to ESPN and the Athletic, it was not the on-ice officials who made the call, but instead, the situation room in Toronto.

This takes the fans beef to another level. It now, not only becomes an issue of the referees taking away home ice in Boston, but it becomes an issue of the league taking away any sort of chance that the Bruins had to at the very least tie the game, not to mention the series, up at two games apiece.

This is only one of a laundry-list of items that officials have either missed in terms of calls against Florida or a game where they have called what feels like too many penalties against Boston.

Biased or not, the Bennett goal was not a good look for the league and not a fun pill for fans to swallow following a game that Boston desperately needed to win. Now the series goes back to Sunrise, where the Panthers look to clinch the series in Game 5 on Tuesday - puck drop is on Tuesday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN.