May 122009
 

By NHL standards, Dan O’Halloran and Mike Leggo officiated a good game last night. Like Colin Campbell’s disciplinary decisions this offseason, the officiating was horribly inconsistent. If Colin Campbell is the ringleader of NHL justice, then his referees have a done a good job of following him.

Considering the importance of last night’s game, it was one of the worst officiated games I’ve ever seen. From my point of view, it seemed like Dan O. and Leggo didn’t know how they wanted to call the game. At times, they would let a lot of things go; at others, no. They didn’t have a standard, and watching the game, I had no idea when a penalty was a penalty and when it wasn’t.

Alex Edler and Ryan Kesler were hammered with late hits and there were no calls. Rick Rypien hit Ben Eager against the boards and Ryp received a minor; the Hawks scored on the ensuing powerplay. Kesler was high-sticked and Roberto Luongo was whacked with a stick and there were no calls. Meanwhile, Shane O’Brien had a ticky-tack hook called on him; the Hawks scored the winning goal afterwards.

I’m not blaming the Canucks’ loss on the officiating, but certainly, the lousy officiating didn’t help. To be fair, Rypien and O’Brien probably deserved their penalties; but just as much, the Blackhawks deserved to be called on theirs too. As fans of the game, what we look for is consistency and there was none of that last night.

But then again, this is the NHL where consistency – especially in disciplinary-type incidents – doesn’t seem to be part of the vocabulary. Just in this year’s playoffs, we’ve seen different consequences for similar actions. Carcillo and Cammalleri laid out similar head shots off the faceoff, but only Carcillo was suspended. Lucic and Backes last out similar head shots during a scrum, but only Lucic was suspended. Brashear and Eager took out opponents with similar late hit to the head, but only Brashear was suspended. Scott Walker sucker punched Aaron Ward, a suspensionable offense according to the league’s own rules, but the league then turned around and rescinded the suspension.

At times, it almost seems like Colin Campbell and his crew spin the wheel to decide what punishment to give. Last night was no different. I’m not saying the Canucks would have won otherwise – I’ve already admitted the Blackhawks were the better team in this series – but they at least deserved a fairer chance.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com Richard Loat

    I couldn’t have written this any better myself. You said everything I wanted to say about the officiating all series.

    We’re not looking for an excuse, but consistency gives us a reason to think we have a fair chance.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com Richard Loat

    I couldn’t have written this any better myself. You said everything I wanted to say about the officiating all series.

    We’re not looking for an excuse, but consistency gives us a reason to think we have a fair chance.

  • http://optioneight.blogspot.com quelle

    the officiating for games 5 and 6 were horrid – inconsistent the entire series, but not so blatantly so until the series kind of came down to the wire, no? i definitely felt the canucks could have had game 6 if it weren’t for those borderline calls. the canucks had to argue to get that too-many-men against chicago, while clearly, bleeding on the bench from late hits means nothing. wake up, refs!

  • http://optioneight.blogspot.com quelle

    the officiating for games 5 and 6 were horrid – inconsistent the entire series, but not so blatantly so until the series kind of came down to the wire, no? i definitely felt the canucks could have had game 6 if it weren’t for those borderline calls. the canucks had to argue to get that too-many-men against chicago, while clearly, bleeding on the bench from late hits means nothing. wake up, refs!

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com Alix Wright

    Totally agree. Great post. I mean Edler and Kesler nearly got their heads taken off and nothing. O’Brien breathes wrong and gets called. Ugly.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com Alix Wright

    Totally agree. Great post. I mean Edler and Kesler nearly got their heads taken off and nothing. O’Brien breathes wrong and gets called. Ugly.

  • Ronnie

    Couldn’t agree more. Totally bias, our team got hand-tied, unable to do the same things they did to us ‘cos we’re being called on every minor little mistakes, but the Hawks got away with vicious hits.

  • Ronnie

    Couldn’t agree more. Totally bias, our team got hand-tied, unable to do the same things they did to us ‘cos we’re being called on every minor little mistakes, but the Hawks got away with vicious hits.

  • jim

    That was a disgrace the way the game was officiated. I am surprised there wasn’t somebody seriously injured or killed. Andrew Ladd’s cheap, blind shot to the head of Ryan Kesler was one of the lowliest things I have ever seen. Then he attempted to put Alex Burrow’s face into the edge of the boards when he was doen and helpless. He was lucky some one didn’t seek revenge which he deserved. All the sticks inthe face, I have never seen so many in one game with no calls – fire those incompetent refs before someone loses an eye or worse !!!!!

  • jim

    That was a disgrace the way the game was officiated. I am surprised there wasn’t somebody seriously injured or killed. Andrew Ladd’s cheap, blind shot to the head of Ryan Kesler was one of the lowliest things I have ever seen. Then he attempted to put Alex Burrow’s face into the edge of the boards when he was doen and helpless. He was lucky some one didn’t seek revenge which he deserved. All the sticks inthe face, I have never seen so many in one game with no calls – fire those incompetent refs before someone loses an eye or worse !!!!!

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