I watched the Senators game against the LA Kings late last night; the refs did not. This isn’t sour grapes or the result of staying up until 1am only to have to report a loss; there’s more than enough evidence in the game footage to show that blind, deaf and ref rhyme for a reason. A day after a non-call on Karlsson in the Anaheim game resulted in a claim from an official that Karlsson is known as a ‘diver’, with a justifiably irate Paul Maclean saying that his players should be shown some respect, the refs did just the opposite in LA.
The Sens lost 4-1 to LA in a game that had auspicious beginnings with Jason Spezza taking a puck to the face in warmup. After some bizarre warm up related injuries this season including the latest from Taylor Hall in Edmonton, it’s easy to see why safety is at the forefront of all hockey issues this year or one would have to conclude that the hockey gods are mad at us.
The Craig Anderson and Johnathon Quick goaltender matchup was eclipsed by bad calls, some minor and one major that should have resulted in pink slips all around. There was Dustin Brown breaking Chris Phillips’ stick right out of his hands on a slash directly in front of the official in the first which resulted in no call. There were some questionable minors, but the major error on the night was the penalty shot taken by Lewis in the second period. The ref claimed that Phillips closed his hand on the puck in a crease scramble which resulted in a penalty shot and LA’s 4th goal. Video shows that this did not happen.
One has to ask the question: what’s the ref’s problem with Phillips? The Anaheim ref had an issue with Karlsson, maybe because he’s the highest scoring defenseman in the league, maybe because he’s barely 180 pounds or maybe because he refuses to cut his hair. Phillips was victimized on two pretty obvious calls in the LA game and then there’s the Foligno complex, who’s been a call favourite since his toss up with Crosby. Some players seem to always get the calls against them.
Are these reputation calls? If so, what did they do to deserve these reputations? It’s a given that some players are known for things: agitating, fighting, talking too much, and yes, there are divers in the league. But Karlsson, Phillips and Foligno? What’s going on? This isn’t fan bias or paranoia, although hockey gods could be an explanation.
California has not been kind to Ottawa on this road trip with a loss to Anaheim and LA and some forgettable play. Ottawa seems to be slowing down in anticipation of the upcoming all star break, a mental lapse which explains more than travel and time zone changes. Thankfully there’s only one more desert rumble to go before they take a nice week long break. And it will be a personal trip for Kyle Turris and David Rundblad who were traded for each other not too long ago. Both of them will have something to prove tonight.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.