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A Longtime NHL Player On The Walkom Call

A longtime NHL player, who has requested anonymity, contacted the Examiner and asked for the following post to run in response to the controversial play that occurred late in the third period of Wednesday night’s decisive Game 7 of the Chicago-Detroit series.

One of two things should have happened. One, Walkom - the trailing official, should have let the exchange go without making a call. It was a nothing play, it did not interfere with a scoring chance and the game is clearly at a point where it’s time for the players to decide the outcome.

Two, call it for what it is - it's roughing on Detroit and flag the offending Wing for a minor. In either case, the goal stands and the team that should have won would have won, right then and there as Hjalmarsson scores. (Fortunately, for NHL hockey ops and for Walkom, Chicago did win in spite of the botched call)....

Here's the bigger question though ... is this an isolated missed call or a symptom of a larger systematic concern? You guessed right; it's the latter.

I have played in too many games where NHL officials are doing everything in their power to "even things out." No matter who's playing whom and no matter how they're playing, it was all too common for officials to attempt to mete out an equal number of minor penalties to each team. Meaning, going in to any given game, the men in black adopt the approach that the penalties taken by the visitors will, for the most part, equal the number of penalties taken by the home team. All is fair if everybody gets their fair share, right?

more at the Examiner...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

John W.'s avatar

It was a nothing play, it did not interfere with a scoring chance and the game is clearly at a point where it’s time for the players to decide the outcome.

So we’re just going to ignore the fact that Saad’s initial trip on Zetterberg led DIRECTLY to a scoring chance, which means, in fact, not only should the goal not have counted, but it was the Wings who got shafted on the play for not getting a power play.

Two, call it for what it is - it’s roughing on Detroit and flag the offending Wing for a minor. In either case, the goal stands and the team that should have won would have won, right then and there as Hjalmarsson scores.

I still don’t get this.  Quincey put a hard check on Saad and ran him into the bench.  Not a penalty.  Saad then grabs Quincey around the head and drags Quincey and himself to the ice.  How is this a penalty only on Quincey?  The roughing is on Saad for grabbing Quincey around the head.

As for the comment insinuating this was an “even-up” call.  For the last damn time, this call DID NOT WIPE OUT A GOAL.  It was being called before the Hjalmarsson ever had the puck, and since it was coincidental minors, the play is dead.  Period.

And even if it was an even-up call, the Wings were owed about 10.  All the chintzy “slashes” called on the Wings (leading to a PS goal) while Saad can trip Zetterberg just before this “horrible call” and Franzen can be boarded in game 3 leading to Kane’s goal and Nyquist can get boarded by Bolland directly leading to series winning goal. 

So please, spare me this ‘poor, cheated Hawks bullshit,’ they got way more than their fair share of calls and non-calls during this series.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/30/13 at 03:27 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

We now appreciate the significance of calling coincidental minors on this play. Saad does nothing to warrant a call going against him yet he and his team are assessed a minor penalty and they have a series-deciding goal called back on them as a result. Can you imagine the fallout if Detroit had gone on to close out the series and end Chicago’s season? The NHL’s very own Watergate

I’m sorry, but the hyperbole is more ridiculous than the call.  This sounds like the Examiner joining the bandwagon to try and get Walkom out of the playoffs

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/30/13 at 03:27 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

“Anonymous” player…sure sounds like something Mr. Toes would do, yes?

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 05/30/13 at 03:34 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

If you’re going to make statements of “fact” like this guy does, you don’t get to make an “anon” post. Since he’s so absolutely certain he’s right, he should stand up and stand behind (not hide behind) what he said.

This is one anonymous player’s opinion. It means nothing.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/30/13 at 03:50 PM ET

calquake's avatar

This is one anonymous player’s opinion. It means nothing.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/30/13 at 03:50 PM ET

Absofreakinlutely… “I want to criticize the call but I don’t have the balls to identify myself”.  I would never want anyone like that wearing the Winged Wheel.

Posted by calquake on 05/30/13 at 04:12 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

The one good point Mr. Anonymous brings to light is the quality (or lack there-of) of the officiating.

How many times during a Red Wing broadcast have we heard Ken & Mick categorize a penalty as a “make-up call” ??  So & so has had 3 straight minors called on them ... next one is on the Wings .... and BAM ... not 30 secs. after they say that the Wings get called for something chincy.

Mr. Anonymous is correct when he says trying to even out the penalties gives the weaker team an unfair advantage and does change the outcome of the game even if they’re trying not to.

The more penalties they add to the rule book, the worse the officiating gets.  Too much to look for, too much left up to the interpretation of the officials. Simplify the rules and you get less human error, a more accurate calling of a game, and you’ll get a better quality game because the officials are that much more invisible.

Mr. Anonymous may have picked a bad example to get his point across but, we do have to acknowledge the validity of his argument.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 05/30/13 at 05:20 PM ET

pautna's avatar

” It was a nothing play, it did not interfere with a scoring chance and the game is clearly at a point where it’s time for the players to decide the outcome.”

Where in the rule book does it say that a penalty doesn’t count if it doesn’t directly interfere the with a scoring chance? And where in the rule book does is say there is a point in a game where the “players…decide the outcome”, and no penalties should be called however blatant they are?

Mr. I don’t have the guts to attach my name to a subjective rant, comes across to me as immature and bitter.

I agree with John W., when he says “It was being called before the Hjalmarsson ever had the puck, and since it was coincidental minors, the play is dead.  Period.” A lot of peeps on other boards just don’t seem to get this concept.

 

Posted by pautna on 05/30/13 at 05:52 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I completely agree with the anon player. I think this was an even-up call after they didn’t have the stones seconds before to call Shaw, I believe it was, for reaching to put his stick and arm across Zetterberg (the puck carrier), as that is something that in the regular season gets called 99% of the time as a hook or hold (I don’t think it should be, actually, but that’s another discussion). Just like they knew they botched the missed boarding call on Hjalmarsson that led to that Kane breakaway goal earlier in the series, and so they waved that next Hawks goal off on a pretty soft interpretation of the rules that we almost never see called, even if it was in fact covered by the rules.

The whole make-up call thing has to just plain stop. Making one mistake in games that have such a big financial and emotional impact on a lot of folks is a big enough issue. It’s stupid to exacerbate the problem by giving even-up calls that in isolation are clearly mistakes in and of themselves.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/31/13 at 07:57 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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