Monday, May 10, 2010

An All-Time Low

Koharski: 'Did you see it Steph?'
Auger: 'Non, I was thinking about Alex Burrows. I can't wait to get back at him.'
Cormier: 'Don, this is what happened... His stick came up in the follow through of the shot. How did you not see it, they were right in front of you? Don? Are you listening to me?'
Koharski: 'I want sprinkles on mine.'

The officiating in the postseason this year has hit levels of stupidity that science thought man was incapable of. Normally the refs have the 'let them play' mentality happening with very little in the way of calls to keep the governing body out of the games as much as possible, and that's the way we've all grown to like it. Even most knuckle-draggers seem to pick up on the concept of cleaning up their act in their very limited ice-time so that their team doesn't suffer the wrath of the postseason powerplay. And the play flows, with few whistles, continuous action, with anger and hostility flowing towards your opponent and the more retarded members of your team when they pull some bonehead manuever. But now the zebras have stepped in to take some of that heat, like rodeo clowns grazing the view of a bull's mad dash towards his last rider.

I have never seen so many penalties called in the postseason, and we're not even through the second round yet. A record number of 'Too Many Men' bench minors handed out, and so many ticky-tack bullshit calls that waivers from rigid regular season whistles to blatant daydreaming from the guys with orange waterwings. And what makes it worse is that they're missing infractions that should be called, and go "unnoticed" or not warranted of a call.

First off, lets take this 'Too Many Men' call down a peg or two. 'Too Many' should be saved for when there are six attackers on the ice in the play, plus a goaltender. It should not be called when a team is in the middle of a line change and the opposing team fires it along the boards in front of their bench. That is bullshit. It should not be called when a player comes off the bench, realizes that there's too many on, and jumps off. This is of course within reason. If the sixth doesn't get in the play, and hasn't even gotten past the redline before he jumps off, no call. If he's halfway across the sheet, looking for a pass up ice, and being screamed at to get off, then by all means, call it. Yes, these guys are professionals but lets keep this within reason.

What's another one? The composite stick debate. To everyone who's whining about getting rid of composite sticks get over it, they're not going to go away. Considering the assets it brings to the crappiest of shots, there's no way they'll be overwhelmed by the weak durability argument, especially in the professional realm where competition is at the highest level, and every little edge counts. The only people with warrant to complain about it are the beer leaguers who are shelling out hard-earned money to buy a new stick only to have it busted by some retarded asshole who's only defensive play is to chop your hands.
But back to the playoff penalty aspect, if you slash a guy's stick and it breaks, that's a slash. It should be treated the same way a trip on a breakaway is called. If you get the puck first, its legal. Guys cross-checking the opposition only to have it fold on them holding the evidence in their hands feels as stupid as they look. Two minutes, go sit down.

It doesn't really matter, there's no winning this argument, just like you've never seen a penalty call turned over due to a player complaining about a call. Everyone hates referees because they have an impossible job, and they're never going to make everyone happy, because everyone has their own differing opinions. I have no problem with a game called with penalties if the penalties are warranted and deserved. But you have to admit the officiating this postseason has been poor at best, and definetely a little suspect. Not of conspiracy of course, but of parity.

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