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11-18-2008, 12:48 AM
Seth Lake
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[preface] I'm posting this here on the Predators board, not on the general board, or the Sharks board. It is my opinion from watching it live in person and also once on replay. If I see more angles on replay, I may change my opinion, but thus far I have seen it this way and based on conversations with fans and others positioned around the arena, I have a lot of people that agree with me. You might disagree with me, that is fine. I have no problem with that, but understand where I'm coming from and please respond with more than one line hit-and-run posts. Otherwise, simply agree to disagree and that'll be that, it is over...can't change it now.[/preface]

IMO, on the Arnott-Pavelski collision that ended the first period and sent Jason to the hospital on a stretcher, #8 Joe Pavelski should have received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for interference.

Pavelski was in no way deliberately intending to injure Arnott, nor did he act in an overtly malicous way, but he is ultimately responsible for his action and the results of his action.

Arnott was chasing a rebound off of Boucher and attacking the net from a 45 degree angle. Pavelski took a path to intersect Arnott at the point of the puck. That is fine and dandy, however Pavelski made contact with Arnott prior to arriving at the puck, knocking Arnott off balance, and continued through with his contact (momentum) driving Arnott towards the net, but the part that makes this interference IMO was that he finished his contact with a deliberate, full-arm extentsion, push to Arnott's back that propelled him forcefully into the goal frame. The push was very visible live in person and still stood out very distinctly on the one replay shown inside the arena - even as almost all of us were watching with full focus on where Arnott's head landed and not how it got there.

The league made it a point of emphasis this summer by adding a major penalty and game misconduct option to the rulebook to empower referees to make the appropriate call in instances where players are being driven from behind into the goal frame. This was admittedly not the textbook example of a player driving his opponent square from behind into the net, but nonetheless is by rule within the definition.

Pavelski finished his contact with Arnott (borderline interference at this point) with a direct push to Arnott's back that propelled him forcefully into the net. As a result of this action, Arnott was injured and was taken off the ice on a stretcher. The presence of an injury automatically should have ramped up the penalty on Pavelski to a major penalty and game misconduct for Interference under Rules 56.4 and 56.5 of the NHL rulebook.

Instead, the senior official (Dan O'Halloran) immediately signals from the blueline (as the back official) that the faceoff would come outside the zone because he ruled Arnott to have knocked the net off of his own violition. That was what was getting booed and was absolutely insane! Even if you do not agree with my assessment of the situation, you must agree that there was contact with Pavelski that knocked Arnott into the goal frame and that the faceoff should have taken place inside the zone.

Note that I'm not calling for a suspension, but strongly believe that Pavelski should have been ejected from the game and that the Preds should have received a five-minute major power play.

Bottom line tonight was that I think that the officiating was brutal and very unprofessional, however that was not the reason we lost. San Jose outplayed us in almost every facet of the game and that's why they won - plain and simple...the refs were absolutely brutal, but were not the deciding factor tonight.

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