The Canucks beat the Kings 6-4 on the road at the Staples Center in LA and avoided going down 3-1 in the series. Going back home for game 5 is a good thing, the Canucks have been very good on home ice and hopefully they will be able to come out with some aggressive hockey and show the fans they really want to be winners.
So I managed to spit that out… now call me a whiner.
I should be happy the Canucks won, that they came back in the 3rd period as they have so many times this season to win games. I should be glad that Roberto Luongo for the most part was solid in net. I should be glad the Sedin’s finally got some chances and capitalized on them. However, all I can think of is the officiating.
I absolutely hate writing about officiating and yet here I am doing it again. I didn’t write after game 3 because I was so furious at the overturned goal and some other poor calls by the refs I felt it was best to wait it out so I wouldn’t smash the keyboard while writing. The overturned goal I understand the arguments people have against it being a goal, but as far as I’m concerned there was no ‘intent’ to direct the puck, which should be a determining factor much like the ref has the option of ‘intent’ to blow a whistle. Who knows where the correct answer lies but the explanations are so wishy washy from the league that it’s just a joke.
So moving past that, Steve Bernier gets a chance in front of Johnny Quick where a Kings player grabs his stick in the blue ice and gets dragged about a foot all the while preventing Bernier from a chance at the puck. The back official puts his arm up as if to call a penalty, the Canucks let the play go to the Kings to get a whistle and then the ref puts his arm down as if nothing happened. The Canucks complained about this (I’m guessing among other things) to the league and were told he decided to not call it after seeing the closer official let it slide. Am I missing something or did the rules get changed to both refs have to agree on calls now? I put this out to you to tell me if I’m nuts, because I have never seen or heard of that in any league in any capacity, ever.
Prior to game 4 on Hockey Night In Canada (for those in the north) the pre-game show was kind enough to play a clip of Bernier reacting to the officials arm up by calming his play and waiting for the whistle at which point he realized the ref had now dropped his arm and he should probably keep playing. Every sports news outlet on TV was talking about the conspiracy theories and how Canucks fans are going to start complaining. Well why shouldn’t we? Consider that when a sports news anchor mentions a conspiracy theory and odd calls that obviously it’s not just Canucks fans noticing this. The Kings took a ‘too many men’ penalty too but it was the most obvious one ever with 6 skaters actually involved in the play. I bet the refs apologized to Terry Murray for calling it during a stoppage in play.
Yeah, you read it right, I’m a whiner. I’m complaining because if you have watched these games the Canucks are being singled out considerably more than the Kings. Maybe it’s a reaction to Alex Burrows’ allegations of revenge from ref’s earlier in the season, maybe the league doesn’t like Canadian teams (see Calgary Flames 2004 Finals, Game 6, Gelinas goal). I don’t have an answer, but I’m within my right to voice that even though the Canucks won tonight they were playing against more than just the Kings but also the Zebra’s.
The Vancouver Canucks go home now knotted up at 2 games apiece and will like to work on their penalty kill obviously. As fans it’s OK for us to complain and cheer and be worried about officiating. For the team and the organization, just forget about it. They aren’t going to win or lose because of the officials as long as they don’t put themselves in the position to be penalized at all. Mind you I found the Canucks tentative and unable to really hit because they seemed afraid of taking penalties. The Canucks are a good team though and good teams will find a way regardless of circumstance. Good luck to them in Game 5 on Friday and hopefully they are prepared and energized to take care of business at home.
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Written by Luke Mirza