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Rangers Respond To Winter Classic Officiating

via Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,

Henrik Lundqvist said he couldn’t believe Briere was afforded a penalty shot and didn’t discount the crazy notion that the NHL and NBC just wanted to showcase a penalty shot to casual fans.

Rangers general manager Glen Sather was also very upset after I asked him about the Rangers backing up his guarantee of a victory on Sept. 26.

“I didn’t think the game would come down to that situation,” Sather said. “You see three or four calls that are enough to blow your mind…Look at all of it.”

Also via Ranger Rants,

JOHN TORTORELLA:  I’m not sure if NBC got together with the refs or what to turn this into an overtime game. It started with the non-call on Gaby’s, and he gets pitchforked in the stomach and everything starts going against us.  So for two good refs, I thought the game was reffed horribly.
So I’m not sure what happened there.  Maybe they wanted to get into overtime.  I’m not sure if they had meetings about that or what.  But we stood in there.  We stood in there. 

And again, I don’t want to—because they are good guys.  I just thought tonight, it was—in that third period, it was disgusting.

added 11:16pm, Watch below as Tortorella talks post-game about the refs…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+winter+classic

Comments

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I had absolutely no interest in this game, until I read these…
Hahahaha

Was it really that bad?

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 01/03/12 at 12:19 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Two words:  Ian Walsh.

Bookmark, starmark, italicize, and boldprint that name in your pre-game notes from now on.  I don’t care who’s playing, if he’s officiating your game, you’re gonna get some of the most ridiculously officiated games you’ll ever see.  GUARAN-FUCHING-TEE IT.

Also, see “Stepane Auger.”  Same putzes cut from the same cloth.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 01/03/12 at 12:28 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

The bit about showcasing a penalty shot for casual fans goes to heart of my post in Lisa World Junior Fin/Svk recap.

Since the NHL is in charge of refs, they aren’t impartial.  That means if the league wants to showcase a penalty shot, there’s going to be a weak call to get one.  I’d actually be interested to see if the stats on penalty shots are up this year as it seems there are a number of crappy penalty shot calls, more so than usual.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/03/12 at 12:36 AM ET

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Also, see “Stepane Auger.”  Same putzes cut from the same cloth.

Auger should never have been allowed to ref another game after the burrows incident. 


Don’t underestimate the power of NBC.  There absoultely is a relationship between, NBC, Comcast, the The Flyers.  Comcast owns the Flyers and also bought NBC.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 01/03/12 at 01:09 AM ET

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i dont care for either team, but yeah, it was that bad late in the 3rd. The Flyers were down and the refs gave every indication they wanted OT. It started with a Flyers player checking a Ranger into the Ranger’s net, should have been interference on the Flyers player was called a delay of game on the Rangers player…really really terrible call late in the game. Callahan was interfered with after the Flyers pulled their goalie, what I thought could have been an awarded goal as Callahan looked like he would easily beat everyone to the puck and put it in an empty net, or at the least a penalty on the Flyers ended up being a 4 on 4 calling Callahan for holding the stick… Hard to call hooking and holding the stick, seems like its either one or the other, especially with the split second action of that particular play. The penalty shot was the nail in the coffin for the refs. They claimed the Rangers player had closed his hand on the puck in the crease, no replay showed any conclusive evidence of that and there is no way the ref saw that happen.

If anything, while trying to attract more fans by getting an OT game i think they may have just disgusted current fans.

Posted by pstumba on 01/03/12 at 01:26 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

If anything, while trying to attract more fans by getting an OT game i think they may have just disgusted current fans.

The NHL has been doing this since what, 1994? Coincidence?

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 01/03/12 at 02:05 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

I’m not saying it was a well officiated game, but really Lundquist?  Tortorella?  You won.  STFU.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/03/12 at 02:56 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

I didn’t hate the penalty shot call because I can see how it looked like he covered it with his hand.  But the delay of game call for being checked into the crossbar and calling Callahan for holding the stick while being hooked around the neck were just pure jokes.  Like pstumba mentioned, I thought when the ref was point emphatically on the Callahan play, he was awarding a goal due to what was essentially being hauled down on a breakaway with an empty net.  I’m pretty sure if someone hooked me around the neck, I’d grab the stick too.  That’s hooking/high sticking plain and simple.  It was pretty obvious OT was in the cards as far as the refs were concerned.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 01/03/12 at 03:30 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

@bezukov Just because a team loses doesn’t mean they should keep their mouths shut if there was a blatant and suspicious injustice done to them during the game. If I were a player, I’d rather have a coach that speaks out than one who swallows his tongue.

I hated the penalty shot call because it wasn’t ruled a penalty shot on the ice, and video replay didn’t provide clear, indisputable evidence that the puck was covered by a glove in the crease. I do agree that the delay of game call was awful, and the matching minor was nothing less than mind boggling.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 01/03/12 at 06:02 AM ET

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I saw only the penalty shot, after the game, and even though it looked iffy, I can understand why they called it… The guy saw the puck close to the goal line, 20s to end the game,  and jumped on it to freeze it, hands first, even if he didnt “close” his hand around it

I can see how anyone watching the game, and how it was officiated, can complain about the penalty shot call, but I think it was the right call, by itself

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 01/03/12 at 09:56 AM ET

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WOW… I just saw it from another angle, and the puck was LOOOOOOSE on the other side of the net…

I take it back, the penalty shot call was GARBAGE as well..  lol

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 01/03/12 at 09:59 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

Penalty shot was the correct call, he puts his hand on it to move the puck back to under Lundqvist’s pad. As for the 4on4 call, it was correct. Timonen puts his stick in the mid-section and then Callahan grabs it up to his chest. I actually would’ve called diving on Callahan instead the way he flopped around. Oh, and the Rangers have nothing to complain about. Briere with 3 minutes left has a wide open net after a goal-mouth scramble and the ref blew the play dead. Zqto, I think that’s the play you are referring too, the one on the penalty shot never got loose again.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 01/03/12 at 12:24 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I was busy and didn’t start watching till the third period… and it was SHOCKING how bad the officiating was. Walsh actually got one right when he called matching minors for both hooking and holding the stick, but otherwise, it looked like a game from 1999 out there. Gaborik had an easy breakaway coming with his speed and finesse and was blatantly interfered with. The penalty shot call was suspect in the way it was kind of a delayed reaction. Since there’s no overhead shot we can’t really say with certainty what the official behind the net should’ve been able to see, but usually if you see a guy cover the puck like that in the crease, the hand goes up immediately, you don’t wait a little, listen to Briere complain, and then award the shot…

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/03/12 at 12:31 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Posted by Nathan

, yeah, Timonen got away with the hook on Gaborik. All of us watching cringed when we saw that and couldn’t believe a penalty wasn’t called.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 01/03/12 at 12:43 PM ET

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Zqto, I think that’s the play you are referring too, the one on the penalty shot never got loose again.

Eh, might be
I only watched the highlights, so, I cant be sure

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 01/03/12 at 01:27 PM ET

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Anyone see the penalty shot they gave Chicago the other night against Detroit?? The refs need to be warned against giving hone teams bogus calls to appease fans of the home team.

The NHL is turning into the WWF

Posted by Jason on 01/03/12 at 02:12 PM ET

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Once a flyer always a flyer:

Ian Walsh - Philadelphia Junior Flyer

Posted by Tekkens from PA on 01/03/12 at 04:03 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by DrewBehr on 01/03/12 at 03:02 AM ET

I just hope the next time someone cites the “vast anti-Detroit conspiracy” on this site, we can all hearken back to this conversation, since its apparently alright for the Rangers to put on the tin foil hats.

It would be one thing if Tortorella expressed his disagreement with the calls and left it at that.  It is another thing entirely to cite conspiracy to have an OT.  It legitimizes the stupid crap that we (the fans) come up with to justify our team’s shortcomings; and it delegitimizes the refs, the NHL, and its rules.  Its bad for business, and its bad for hockey.  The professional thing for Tortorella to do is be glad his team got the win, and retract his remarks.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/03/12 at 04:08 PM ET

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Posted by bezukov from South of Detroit on 01/03/12 at 01:08 PM ET

Of course you’re right. But then I’d personally have no interest in this game in the first place. The post-game presser was what I was most looking forward to! Torts does teeter on the edge of douche bag from time to time…but I still like him.

Posted by godblender on 01/03/12 at 05:14 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It would be one thing if Tortorella expressed his disagreement with the calls and left it at that.  It is another thing entirely to cite conspiracy to have an OT.  It legitimizes the stupid crap that we (the fans) come up with to justify our team’s shortcomings; and it delegitimizes the refs, the NHL, and its rules.  Its bad for business, and its bad for hockey.  The professional thing for Tortorella to do is be glad his team got the win, and retract his remarks.

I think airing a grievance that a lot of fans share may be more healthy in the long run than marginalizing a lot of fans who feel the same way. 

What’s bad for hockey is a refereeing standard by which you can say with 100% confidence “So how long before the home team that’s losing their Winter Classic game gets an undeserved power play?” Less than one minute before a referee who was clearly looking at the net-front scrum calls that penalty on McDonagh.

Because I did exactly that.

It also happened the same way two years ago in Boston.

I didn’t give a shit who won yesterday’s game as long as it was one I felt represented the game well.  What I got out of that horrible farce was the worry that there was a directive to make sure that the most exciting game possible would end up being called by the refs instead of the most ethically-called game.

The end of yesterday’s Winter Classic felt like some pre-scripted WWE bullshit.

Personally, the considerations about what’s good for business and what’s good for hockey are completely separate issues and often times find themselves diametrically opposed to one another.  Bringing in casual fans by trying to force more excitement into a hockey game thanks to bad refereeing may be good for business, but it’s horrible for hockey.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/03/12 at 05:30 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/03/12 at 02:30 PM ET

We’ve all (NHL fans) been complaining about the refs pulling homers for a long time.  That happens (or doesn’t happen depending on who you ask), independent of it being the Winter Classic.  Its a pretty big claim to say that what happened yesterday amounted to a conspiracy to have an overtime in the WC.  I’m going to need a lot more than innuendo and hurt feelings before I’ll buy that whopper.  I know where you’re coming from with your twitter remark JJ, but (with all due respect) cynical predictions come true all the time.  Pointing to one other instance won’t bear out the idea of an OT conspiracy in my eyes.

I know the penalties were even approaching the end of the game.  But I think the refs are sometimes too concerned with evening things up (in terms of PP chances), and bad calls get made.  I would generally attribute yesterday’s bad calls to that practice.  Perhaps that explains the lame-o holding the stick call.  The penalty shot was a blown call. 

In the end, none of us will know exactly what motivated the ref’s calls.  What I do know is that I don’t know any of the refs personally and I’m not going to make a negative character assessment of them. 

I don’t mean to high road anybody here, that would be a lame thing to do as I’m a homer myself.  What I’m really trying to say is that between professionals, its pretty low for Tortorella to question the referees’ integrity; and that the only evidence for his claims is circumstantial at best.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/03/12 at 07:32 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’d rather have Tortorella asking the questions when the evidence is only circumstantial than have to watch the entire NHL backpedal through a sport-killing scandal when the evidence is a leaked email, a stolen voicemail, or a credentialed whistle-blower.

I have no problem making negative character assessments about players, coaches, or league officials, so it’s not exactly like I’m going to give refs the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/03/12 at 07:40 PM ET

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I certainly question the integrity of Ian Walsh.

He was once a Junior Flyer and still holds scoring records there. How can the league name a referee to their most significant non cup appearance on TV with a guy who is not only from Philly but once wore the jersey of and played for the very team he favored in this game?

3 bad calls and two non calls could have significantly changed the outcome of this game. The only bad move against the flyers was whistling the puck dead early which is a common occurance in the NHL.

When was the last time you have seen a interference/holding stick call on one single play like that - never in my life.

What video have you see which clearly shows McDonagh grasping the puck with his hand?

Posted by Tekkens from OA on 01/03/12 at 08:46 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Posted by Tekkens from OA on 01/03/12 at 05:46 PM ET

Wings fans, mark it:  Feb. 12 and Mar. 6.  IF Ian Walsh is officiating either one or both of those games (home and home series), bring the Jamesons, Sailor Jerrys, and Sudafed and make a cocktail.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 01/03/12 at 08:51 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

He was once a Junior Flyer and still holds scoring records there. How can the league name a referee to their most significant non cup appearance on TV with a guy who is not only from Philly but once wore the jersey of and played for the very team he favored in this game?

Really?  If you couldn’t see the flaw in that reasoning ahead of time, I don’t know how to help you.  As it turns out, and this may come as a surprise to you, every referee has a hometown.  Since they’ve made their careers in and arond the game, I’d wager the majority have played the game in one team’s junior system or another.  I’d bet most of them were fans at one point in their lives.  So…. bfd on that one my friend.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/03/12 at 09:59 PM ET

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“Really?  If you couldn’t see the flaw in that reasoning ahead of time, I don’t know how to help you.  As it turns out, and this may come as a surprise to you, every referee has a hometown.  Since they’ve made their careers in and arond the game, I’d wager the majority have played the game in one team’s junior system or another.  I’d bet most of them were fans at one point in their lives.  So…. bfd on that one my friend.”

Since the majority of Refs are from Canada - see link - why appoint one out of Philly? Also the main point here, is he was a junior flyer! Let me see here, if he was a junior maple leaf or a junior bruin, I would have no problem. It’s sort of like refereeing a game where your alma mater is playing in the game. If you are in that program, you are very good and have played for many years in the program, plus he still holds scoring records there…. Tell me there is no bias?

List of NHL Referees

Posted by Tekkens from PA on 01/04/12 at 02:28 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Since the majority of Refs are from Canada - see link - why appoint one out of Philly? Also the main point here, is he was a junior flyer! Let me see here, if he was a junior maple leaf or a junior bruin, I would have no problem. It’s sort of like refereeing a game where your alma mater is playing in the game. If you are in that program, you are very good and have played for many years in the program, plus he still holds scoring records there…. Tell me there is no bias?

I suppose you saw black helicopters circling Citizen’s Bank Park too… try again…

Lets review:

What I know:

1.) Ian Walsh is a professional ice hockey referee.

What I am taking for granted:

1.) Ian Walsh cares about fair play and his professional image.
2.) Ian Walsh had bad game on Monday.

What you know:

1.) Ian Walsh was once a Junior Flyer.

What you are taking for granted:

1.) Ian Walsh has no professional integrity.
2.) Ian Walsh tried to throw the game for the Flyers.
3.) Ian Walsh would risk being exposed as a fraud to throw the game for the Flyers.

Now, who is being more ridiculous here?....  Time for you to lay off the homer-ade.

What you’ve committed is known as the Genetic Fallacy.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/04/12 at 05:09 PM ET

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Here is what I know:

- no call on a hook on Gabby on a break away
- Ranger penalty for being checked into our own net
- penalty shot for covering a puck with no supporting video evidence
- matching penalty on Cally open netter

All of these events COULD have changed the outcome of this game.

Now you can call this a “bad game” and so can I, but when I see a ref
having a bad game usually it’s on both sides, therefore the reason for
this article, Comments by Torts, King Henry and many more fans. So I looked up
his profile and I see he was once a jr flyer and is from philly, I personally know two guys who have been Jr. Flyers and they live and bleed Flyer Orange. So I get even
more suspicious. Am I making assumptions, sure I am, but no one knows
and no one will really know why he had such a bad game. IMHO he
is biased towards the flyers because of his background and that is it.

The NHL should also be questioned for choosing him for this game and any Atlantic division game in my opinion. Supreme court justices “recuse” themselves from certain cases because they may have a bias towards a decision they make that may alter the proper outcome of a case. So they do not participate in that case.
Now are they “professionals with integrity” sure they are but they do recuse themselves when needed. Does this mean they are not professionals with integrity?

Is Walsh a professional ref, sure he is, does he have integrity, sure he does, did he intentionally try to throw the game, probably not, but his on the fly decisions could be altered based on his background bias. This is possible, can I or you prove it - no way.

No Koolaid here.

Posted by Tekkens from PA on 01/04/12 at 07:37 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s actually not a genetic fallacy unless you can provide evidence that proves Ian Walsh’s bad calls are NOT derived from his past experiences with the Junior Flyers.

Or… if you want to call it a genetic fallacy, then you’d also have to accept that the line of reasoning that Ian Walsh is a professional referee for the NHL and therefore he MUST be an official of the utmost integrity is a fallacy of the exact same order.

Let’s stick to arguing what we believe and accept that all they can possibly be are beliefs.  None of us are ever going to know one way or another, so the lack of proof by one side does not equate to that which proves the opposite.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/04/12 at 07:51 PM ET

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