Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pay no attention to the Men Behind the Curtain

I don't get it anymore. Anytime these days that the NHL goes to a review, you might as well flip a coin, there really is no logic behind the outcome.

Let's look at two very similar plays last night. The first one occurred in the NJ-Pittsburgh game.

If you go to the 1:09 mark of the preceeding video, you see Aaron Asham of the Devils driving the net. Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins has lost his stick and is chasing Asham. As Asham gets to the goaltender Mark-Andre Fleurry, Letang gives Asham a bear hug, and the two fall on top of Fleurry. Would Asham have run into Fleurry had he not been tackled? Maybe. We cant tell for certain. Letang certainly had a good hold on Asham though. The Devils scored on the rebound, and it was immediately washed out, and the referee on ice refused to even review it, claiming "The goalie has to be able to play the puck. Fleury was still in the crease and got bumped out."

Now look at the play again. Two people make contact with Fleurry. Asham, and Letang. Neither of them bump him out of the crease. The player that made more contact with Fleurry was his own defenseman, who was committing a blatant holding penalty at the time without a call. The referee further compounds this by refusing to even allow a review, taking matters into his own hands. If there was a competent explanation, that's fine, but his explanation of what happened does not match what the replay shows.

Now let's move onto exhibit 2, a very similar play from last night.

In the second period of the Capitals - Hurricanes game, Carolina forward Eric Cole drives the net. Eric Cole skates into the middle of the crease without getting touched. Then he is legally bumped (not a bear hug) by Shoane Morrisonn, and both players go into the goalie, and the puck might have gone into the net. I'm not really sure, as I have yet to see anything showing the puck in the net. There isn't a replay available that physically shows us the puck in the net, you can even watch the NHL highlight video (the play happened with about three and a half minutes left in the second). Somehow the goal counts, and league passes along word to both telecasts that there is a view that shows the puck in the net that wasn't available to the broadcasts. Here is my question:

What "other feed?" Why is there a feed that is available to the folks in Toronto reviewing the play that isn't available to the camera crews? Is it like the Zapruder film? What is the point of not allowing the telecasts to see something when it is available? Does the league not want the best possible telecast? It seems like every time the league doesn't know what to do, they flip a coin. To placate fans of the other team, they tell them "there was another feed" so the fans can grumble. It isn't just a problem with last night, it is an ongoing problem with the league.

Coming out of the lockout, the league claimed that they wanted officiating to be consistent. The claimed they wanted something that was called in the first period of opening night to be the same call that was made in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, and that is far from the case. The league has repeatedly proved that they have favorites that get the calls, and other teams that don't get the calls. As the among of evidence keeps stacking up, it becomes harder and harder to deny.

Something that is ruled one way in one game, is not ruled the exact same way in another game. What is a penalty for one team is not a penalty for the other team. Something that was a penalty in the first period is not a penalty in the third period. It happens time and time again, and the league won't do anything about it.

1 comment:


1) Here's another question for ya: If Toronto(NHL head quaters) has additional camera angles we're not privy to, how come it took an outside source (TSN) to come up with that "additional/new footage" that caused Chris Pronger to get suspended?
2) One way or the other it would seem that NL is lying to us? Nah, they would never do that, right? After all Mr. Bettman says its all about us, the fans.