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Refs Costing Senators Valuable Points?

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Now people are blaming Ottawa’s coach, Paul MacLean, for all of this. Guilty as charged. At least he’s guilty of being a first-year coach. Of being a passionate, honest, straight-shooting communicator — the qualities that will find him plenty of success at this level. And apparently, he’s also guilty of breaking some bizarre code that says what goes on on the ice, stays on the ice.

Rookie mistake.

But it’s a good thing this past week wasn’t a HBO 24/7 special somehow featuring Ottawa’s Senators and co-starring the NHL’s referees. Then the whole world could see how O’Rourke’s remark to MacLean started a chain reaction that played a huge role in Ottawa’s Senators crashing back to the treeline with two more consecutive losses.

Slash or no slash?

You’re fooling yourself if you believe O’Rourke being revealed for calling Ottawa’s best, brightest young star, defenceman Erik Karlsson, had nothing to do with O’Rourke’s partner the very next game, Tim Peel, keeping his whistle in his pocket while Karlsson almost slid into him after he was obviously tripped, and leaving it there while Ottawa’s defenceman Chris Phillips had his stick chopped in half out of his hands as he helped kill a penalty. Can’t remember if the two minutes were those Peel gave Ottawa’s defenceman Mark Borowiecki for barely shoving a Los Angeles Kings player soon thereafter,


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink



Boo Hoo…. the reality is Ottawa is playing out west and is realizing they would be a 13th place team in that conference.

Posted by timbits on 01/26/12 at 02:25 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

That doesn’t make this obvious power trip okay.  They’re punishing MacLean for criticizing them, just like they did in the playoffs when Gillis criticized them.  Their position may be somewhat reasonable, or at least understandable, but it is certainly regrettable.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/26/12 at 02:38 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

I guess the point is that reputation calls don’t sit well, but they are probably a necessary evil.  Just like the league has to have a zero tolerance policy on impugning its integrity.  But stuff like this is such a drag.  I watched the Auger-Burrows incident game and it was absolutely out of control.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/26/12 at 05:31 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

The officials should not have an impact on the game, yet they do. The NHL allows it to happen. We should not know the temperament of the on-ice officials. We shouldn’t even really know their names. They should be practically transparent arbiters of the rulebook. Instead, we have very strong-willed officials who allow their own personalities to color the calls. It is very bushleague.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/26/12 at 12:03 PM ET


just like they did in the playoffs when Gillis criticized them.


Posted by Garth on 01/26/12 at 12:54 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Gillis came out and made statements after game 6 of round one.  If you saw the game, then you know why.  Basically it was just a statistical breakdown showing that Chicago was being favored in number of calls when the score was close.  He had the numbers to make his point.  After that, the Canucks had a very tough time getting calls, particularly in the Nashville series.  It was exactly like what this story alleges happened for Ottawa.  Not a conspiracy, but a definite slap on the wrists.
As to what happened in the Final, well it may be up for debate, but few can argue that the rulebook was well enforced.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/26/12 at 03:06 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

I’m a big Sens fan, but I’m not quite ready to pillory the refs yet.

Yes, we’ve had a few dicey calls - but what I think it comes down to is not getting the benefit of the doubt. I’ve seen a lot of Sens players chirping the referees over the course of this season and I think it’s starting to catch up with them a bit.

Maybe part of getting less bad calls against you is not complaining so loudly about the good ones. If you look like you’re trying to get away with something, you’ll never get away with anything.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 01/26/12 at 05:05 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Maybe part of getting less bad calls against you is not complaining so loudly about the good ones.

This is very true.  And advice that all hockey players should take to heart (especially the Canucks, but also in my rec league).

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/26/12 at 05:55 PM ET


Posted by tuxedoTshirt from Victoria on 01/26/12 at 12:06 PM ET

I saw that more as karma because they were a dirty, POS team whose GM complained that the zebras actually had the audacity to call them on the dirty, cheap-shotting POS style of play.

Posted by Garth on 01/26/12 at 07:42 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

I get it Garth.  You hate them.  I thought that was why you asked for clarification.  Boring.  The kernal of truth that supports your views is so deeply embedded in husks of slander that I have no wish to debate it.  Almost no one who makes these pronouncements about them have watched enough games to be fair about it. 
But Karma problems?  Yes they’ve got them.  They used to have Cooke and Ruutu on the team at the same time.  The hockey Gods will not smile for a good while because of that.  Also, Torres was really not helpful in earning sympathy (his hits are mostly legal, but still brutal and usually resulted in a reaction that Canucks had no hope of handling).  His hit on Eberle was totally fvcked and 4 games probably was not enough.

I’ll assume that this is mostly about Burrows.  Every team has someone filling his role.  Abdelkader is your guy.  He is not dirty and not a diver, but he is chippy, has the pointy elbows, and he gets mouthy…..because he has to fill a role, and I don’t think anyone blames him for it.  Obviously, Abdelkader is the cleanest version of this type of player.
Burrows played roller hockey and in the ECHL and came up undrafted, and became a 30 goal scorer.  As a classic underdog player he had to be chippy and chirpy and fight for his icetime.  Agitator is still an important role, though it does mean you’ll be hated.  Personally, I always cheer for these undrafted underdog type players.  Also, I was a penalty killer in my day so those are the type of guys I like.  I don’t like the diving, but he has really come a long way.  The fact is NHL coaches like guys who draw penalties.  Which is why every team is guilty of embellishment sometimes.  It is taking a long time for him to change his reputation, as it should, but he is very different player now than 3 years ago.  I get that he is disliked, but the flat-out blind rage?  I would reserve that for someone who has actually ever hurt someonen their career.
  The press mercilessly singled the Canucks out for embellishment during the playoffs, but most people realize that every team does it.

Now Garth….you are not a man to be trifled with.  After you demolish this post, I will drop it.  But I have noticed that your normally incisive comments gets a little bit distracted by burning hate when it comes to the Canucks; this makes your arguments less strong and your wrath more fearsome. 
I don’t want to fight with you about it.  I don’t think that I have said anything too contentious here.
(also, are there particular cheapshots to comment on?  cause the sweeping condemnation with nothing really backing it is a little old.  There’s a few, sure.  But I find people get pretty vague on this part of the hate).

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/26/12 at 08:31 PM 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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