Penaltypalooza: 12/9/08: Nasvhille vs. Vancouver
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12-10-2008, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nashville, TN
You know what the saddest part of all of this is...it's that the NHL clearly admits there should have been penalties called, which essentially admits that the referees didn't do their jobs and let this game get way out of hand.
Now, for the rematch on January 1st, the NHL will warn the teams prior to the game that anything done to retaliate will be severely disciplined and will enforce that by putting out some of their "grudge-match" game refs (VanMassenhoven, Koharski, or Pollack) and they'll call the game as tight as possible to try to eliminate any chance for retribution.
For the first time since I started attending NHL games back on March 28th, 1988 last night I seriously was so fed up with watching the game due to the lack of player safety calls by the officials and their insistence on calling any little infraction with the stick that I considered leaving the arena during the second intermission. The officiating last night was absolutely horrendous by Leggo and Watson and ruined the game and allowed one team to get cheapshotted all night and then have to turn around and kill off penalty after penalty when they stood up for each other.
I saw that someone had a problem with what Shea did that cost us PP time. I ran into this same opinion last night during the post-game and have only to say that neither Shea or I were under the impression that a player safety penalty (boarding, charging, cross-checking, slashing, etc) was going to be penalized by the officials last night. They had set that precedent time and time again last night. Neither myself in the stands or Terry Crisp up in the broadcast booth thought there was an initial boarding call coming. It wasn't until I was shown video of the incident on TSN's highlights post-game that I saw that the official immediately raised his arm to indicate a penalty. However the precedent was already set and I have no problem whatsoever with what Weber did because it is what the officials encouraged players to do last night.
The officials literally encouraged players to police themselves and unfortunately that is what lead to the Bertuzzi - Moore incident years ago and to see games like last night continue to get called in that manner only lead me to believe that the NHL has some dark days ahead of itself when things get totally out of control on the ice.
Yesterday morning someone here in the STL game-day thread said his wife no longer watches hockey because of her compliant with the inconsistency of the officiating. At the time I didn't think much of it. Officiating is part of the game. But last night had me almost leaving the arena in disgust. As a hockey fan first and foremost, that disturbs me deeply and I cannot imagine how people with far less passion than I think about our game when it is called in such a manner.
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