I have a question for the
NHL, and although I doubt I’ll get it, I’m looking for an honest and intelligent
Is the NHL and its legion
of fools – I mean, officials, really trying their hardest to scare away fans or
is it just me? Is Mick McGeough a menace to the new NHL and should he be given
his pink slip now? At the very least, can the Edmonton Oilers bar him from
Rexall Place or any arena they happen to be playing in on any given night?
“Mr. Magoo” strikes
again. In a recent game between Dallas and Edmonton, a game where even I will
admit the Oilers had no business coming back in, the potential tying goal was
disallowed. The reason? McGeough said Shawn Horcoff passed the puck with his
glove, when the replay clearly showed the face off was won cleanly. The excuse
he and the league gave? “The whistle was blown right away”. It’s not what I
heard. In a game which should have gone to overtime, Dallas skated away with
the two points. Much ado about nothing.
You know, I really hate
ragging on the officials, because for the most part they’ve done a great job
since re-launching the league after the lockout. But this, a so called senior
“top four” official making a call which shouldn’t have been his call to make in
the first place (the linesman dropped the puck), is unacceptable. I don’t know
if the new helmets the refs wear are clouding their vision or just giving them a
headache. Maybe Mr. Magoo just had to go to the bathroom really bad. Who
I know you’ll all say to
me, OK, it’s over, who cares, get over it. Fine and dandy, but let me ask you
this – what if it was game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals for the chance to
decide the series and the ultimate championship in overtime? Better yet, what
if the lost point is the difference between a playoff spot, or not? What will
the NHL have to say for themselves then?
Mr. Commissioner and Mr.
Magoo, over to you. I was really interested to hear the quote-unquote
official response or rebuttal. Not that it matters anymore – the two points
have been awarded and the best thing really for anybody to do is move on.
However, would it be asking too much or would it set a precedent if the league
was to decide in the interest of fair play to award a tie just this once?
After calling the
referee’s decision “a retarded” and “ridiculous call”, which quite frankly it
was, and after saying “he should be suspended”, which he should, Edmonton head
coach Craig MacTavish finds himself having to pay the NHL $10,000 – for telling
McGeough himself even
admitted he blew it, saying, “My judgment was poor on the play.” With all due
respect, isn’t this why the NHL has their little “war room” in Toronto, to make
the right call?
“While the NHL regrets
the missed call, Craig MacTavish’s comments after the game regarding the call
were totally inappropriate and crossed the line”.
Oh really? Well quite
frankly, that’s not the point. Next time, how about this – use video replay or
let the right official make the call, rather than making assumptions. This is
the NHL after all, not just some average bush league. Keep the “ref you suck”
chants for the AHL.
As a firm believer of
what goes around comes around, I’ll make you this guarantee right now – if Mr.
Magoo keeps officiating games like this, there’s no way he’ll be assigned to any
playoff games in April (one can only hope). As far as I’m concerned he
shouldn’t even be relegated to a Pee Wee match.
Just so you don’t think
I’m just blowing off a little steam (well, maybe I am), or singling out one
official, in McGeough’s defense, he is not alone in the phantom or non-calls
this season. Atlanta’s Bob Hartley was also fined $10,000 for abusive language
towards an official for not making a questionable call when the Thrashers played
Washington the same night.
I’m also sure the Boston
Bruins were a tad bit upset when they didn’t get a double minor in overtime
against Buffalo over a high stick on Zdeno Chara. The Sabres would later win
the game in a shootout. How convenient.
I could go on and on –
but in the interest of fair play, I’ll leave your with this: If the NHL wants us
to watch, at least call the rules by the book, which for the most part they do –
but these glaring mistakes have to be addressed, now. As Jeremy Roenick said a
few years ago - wake up NHL – that means you Colin Campbell, Gary Bettman, and
It must have been the
So it seems all the hype
over Evgeni Malkin has some merit after all. In my Blog at puckinaround.net I
was all over the kid in his first NHL game for scoring a softie on Martin
Brodeur. All he did then was score 7 goals in his first 6 games, tying a record
which has stood since the NHL’s inaugural season! I’ve ordered in the skinless
and boneless version of crow which I’ll be cooking tomorrow night, just in case
you’re wondering. I have the Buffalo sauce all ready to go.
Things are really bad in
the city of brotherly love. In a move which I saw coming five years ago, Bobby
Clarke, former general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, stepped down when the
going got tougher than it’s been since the lockout was over. Now, those who
have to try and salvage the mess Clarke left behind seem to think Brian Leetch
is the answer. I’ve been saying this for years too – wrong position. Sure, you
can’t have offense without defense, but you also can’t win games if your goalie
can’t stop the puck. While flattered I’m sure, even Colin Campbell knew this
was a situation to stay away from – politely declining the team’s offer for the
Congratulations to Ron
Maclean for winning the 2006 Gemini award for Best Host or Interviewer in a
Sports Program or Sportscast. For the second straight year, Maclean won the
honor for his work on Hockey Day In Canada. He has won countless nominations
and awards for Best Sportscaster.
While I’m on the topic of
Hockey Night In Canada, I would be remiss if I didn’t give kudos to Cassie
Campbell for getting the opportunity to take Harry Neale’s place alongside the
legendary Bob Cole a few weeks back. Neale ended up getting snowed into his
home in Buffalo, leaving the CBC with no choice but to invite Campbell along for
the ride. While women commentators aren’t new to HNIC or hockey telecasts in
general, Campbell, along with her many accolades, now holds the distinction of
being the first to do color commentary for an NHL game north of the border.
Often imitated, never duplicated, the innovation and the tradition continues…
…and the rumors have
started flying. With the sub par start in Ottawa, rumors immediately surfaced
over the captain Daniel Alfredsson (if you ask me, he should have been traded
the last time his contract was renewed) – a rumor the team has vehemently
denied. Even goalie coach Ron Low went so far as to say “I know there are 30
teams who would want him, but I know 1 team who wants to keep him”. Why then,
Ron, were you in Edmonton one night before the Senators were slated to play the
Stanley Cup Champions from Carolina? Perhaps a little more time coaching former
Hurricane Martin Gerber is in order here. As I’m writing this, I’m noticing
some rumblings about Vancouver Canucks’ centre Brendan Morrison. Let me get
this straight. The Sens couldn’t secure a contract with Yanic Perreault, who
they could have had for $750,000 (what he signed for in Phoenix), yet they want
to see “if money issues can be worked out”?
My vote for game of the
year so far goes to Montreal in their 8-5 romp over Colorado. In a game where
the Avalanche got out to a 3-0 lead, the Habs exploded in the second period,
lighting Jose Theodore up for eight goals by the time the game was over.
Sheldon Souray ended the game with a four point night and captain Saku Koivu had
A close second vote goes
to Edmonton for overcoming a 4-1 deficit against San Jose in what ended a 6-4
final. Ryan Smyth broke Wayne Gretzky’s franchise record for the fastest three
goals ever scored by an Oiler player in that one, and broke it by almost 20
Honorable mention goes to
Ottawa in an 8-2 drubbing of New Jersey (with Martin Brodeur in net), and two
straight blowouts against Toronto – the only highlights in an otherwise mediocre
start so far. The Pizza Line (Alfredsson, Heatley, Spezza) was on fire for a
few games but seems to have fizzled out of late.
Well folks, we’re already
a month into the new NHL season, can you believe it? Keep it locked right here
and to puckinaround.net where you won’t miss a thing, I promise you!