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11-30-2008, 06:37 PM
Seth Lake
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Originally Posted by worstfaceoffmanever View Post
Don't get me wrong, I'm not faulting Weber. I didn't understand why Hasenfratz called the roughing penalty to begin with. Stuff like that happens a lot and I rarely, if ever, see a penalty called for an event that starts a fight.
You know to be honest...I was happy that Weber got only a roughing minor initially because I felt he could've gotten an instigator - which carries with it an automatic 10-minute misconduct. So I kinda felt we got the break there. I was even OK, yet still livid, that they didn't call Weller for his late hit on Suter that started everything, but I was willing to work with it.

The problem for me comes with the unsportsmanlike call. The refs knew they screwed up on the initial icing call (back linesman waved it off when it struck his partner (which I don't understand why it would have negated the icing when the puck still carried all the way past the goal line), but the near linesman had his back turned and blew the whistle) and Suter was furious because Weller fully intended on hitting him there whether or not it was going to be an icing call.

Now Weber stands up for Suter by fighting Weller and the penalties are handed out...the crowd reacts appropriately and Suter is on the bench obviously verbally attacking the referee for not calling him getting hit on the initial icing call. I have no problem with that, he was not standing up, was not banging his stick to create a commotion, didn't slam the bench door, didn't toss anything over the boards...nothing that I could tell to publicly embarass the referee. The only people that could probably hear what Suter was saying were his teammates on the bench, the players on the ice, and probably some of the Minnesota bench as well. Unless Suter got extremely over-the-top personal with the official, I have a problem with the referee calling a minor for unsportsmanlike there and putting a team down two men for a full 2:00 when you know you just did something controversal to begin the whole mess.

Bottom line for me though last night was that despite the performance of the officials that left much to be desired at the NHL level, the Predators as a team did not come out ready to play a style of hockey that can beat Minnesota. They were not willing to play a team game for a full 60 minutes and too often in the first six minutes alone we saw players try to beat the Minnesota defense by themselves with the puck instead of passing to an open teammate or chipping the puck in deep behind the defense to create a battle for the puck. We simply did not look ready from the opening puck drop to play against the Wild.

And before you blame the coaching staff for not being ready, please realize that communication is a two-way street. The players have to be willing to listen and then actually implement the game plan for it to work. That was where the breakdown was IMO, you saw each line show flashes of team play, but far too often it broke down into that individual hockey that the Wild love to take advantage of.

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