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Vancouver Concerned About How Playoff Games Will Be Called

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

His team is looking more vulnerable than venerable, but Mike Gillis knows the way the game is officiated—especially in the postseason—could determine how far the Vancouver Canucks progress this spring. And when asked how he can best address the hot topic without sounding like a whiner when NHL general managers meet Monday and Tuesday in Boca Raton, Fla., his response was understandable.

“I’m not sure,” said the Canucks general manager. “It seems to be an odd circumstance but I’m sure it will be discussed and I’m not sure how many people feel the same way about it. I guess I’ll find out.”

What was odd last spring was that the Canucks often lamented the officiating in the Stanley Cup final, yet had more power-play opportunities than the Boston Bruins. The champions went 3-for-25 in the final and the Canucks 2-for-31. What continues to be odd is that the only consistency has been inconsistency. Just ask Henrik Sedin, who knows—despite a current 1-for-24 funk in the last 10 games—the power play remains the team’s bread and butter and being better aware of what will and what won’t be called can’t help but help.

“There are going to be mistakes out there,” said the Canucks captain. “In the offensive zone, you hold guys a little bit more and clutch and grab a little bit more than you used to do. As long as it’s fair and they call it the same way, it’s not a problem. This might be the only sport where rules change throughout the season depending where you are and what game you’re playing.”



Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Wings_in_NYC's avatar

They are starting the whining about officiating a little early, no? There’s always an excuse with this team.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 03/12/12 at 12:55 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Last year it was whining; this year it’s a more valid concern because the numbers do bear out that there are fewer penalties being called.

I would also say that it seems less consistent this year, but I probably say that every March.

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

statelouis26's avatar

The refs suck.  We all know this.  But it’s not the reason why the Canucks did not win the cup.  Most of the blame can be put on LOUUUUU

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 03/12/12 at 01:15 PM ET


^^^ This.  The officiating since the All Star break has been the worst since the lockout.  It’s why this will always be a garage league.  They are quite obviously calling less penalties, and allowing more infractions to go uncalled.  And they made this change in the middle of the season.  Yet they have the nerve to lie to us and telling us we’re not really seeing what we’re seeing with our own eyes.  Teams like Vancouver (and yes, they ARE whiners) and others built themselves on an assumption on how they games would be called.  Then the NHL, without warning and without even admitting to it, changes the enforcement standard midstream.  It’s just a total joke.

Posted by Mike Adams from Madison, WI on 03/12/12 at 01:16 PM ET


Last year it was whining; this year it’s a more valid concern because the numbers do bear out that there are fewer penalties being called.

But do the numbers bear out that the Canucks are being victimized more than any other team, which is what Gillis whined and cried about last year?

Or, like last year, are they committing more infractions than other teams and thus being called for more penalties?

Posted by Garth on 03/12/12 at 01:22 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by Garth on 03/12/12 at 11:22 AM ET

Did Gillis whine last year that the Canucks were getting called for too many penalties? I thought he whined that the ‘Nucks’ opposition didn’t get called for enough? Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to, I guess. All I remember is thinking that it’s a bitchy whine from Vancouver’s GM last season to try and game the system to get more calls.  Now this season, I still think that this is a big part of it, but there’s also a part of me that really agrees

I didn’t even realize Vancouver was shorthanded more often last season than they were on the power play.  They’re on pace to do that again.

I don’t know. I’d like it if my GM brought up the reffing standard at the GM meetings behind closed doors and we didn’t have to get press clippings to hear about that kind of stuff, but I definitely want it brought up.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/12/12 at 01:35 PM ET

DocF's avatar

The Vancouver bunch are whiney-heineys for sure.  That being said, Gillis is right to be worried about the officiating.  Most of the referees and a few of the senior linemen are atrocious.  This seems to be mandated by the NHL office and the Evil Garden Gnome.  They canned or forced to retire all the decent and respected referees. 

Coaches in all sports want consistency from the officials, not just within each game, but from game to game.  We had two college basketball games in the ACC tournament that might have had different outcomes if the officials had been calling the end of the game the same as the start.  This is a universal complaint in all sports; be consistent in your officiating.


Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 03/12/12 at 03:06 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

  But it’s not the reason why the Canucks did not win the cup.  Most of the blame can be put on LOUUUUU

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, M

2 of the Vancouver wins out of 3 were shutouts and the Canucks failed to score in the 7th game.
I don’t see LOUUUUU shouldering any of the blame for that…

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 03/12/12 at 05:22 PM ET


This pretty much explains why I don’t think the Canucks will ever win a Cup with this group.  There’s just no one willing to step up and be accountable in the entire organization.  The GM complains, the coach complains, and that leads to the players complaining.  For all their talk about the officiating being out to get them (though they never explain why that would be the case) they get away with a lot of stuff and take a lot of dives. 

Time to look in the mirror and accept the fact that it’s no one else’s fault you didn’t win the Cup last year.

Posted by RoneFace on 03/12/12 at 07:26 PM ET


There are fewer teams that dive more than Vancouver players do, with maybe the exception of the Sharks and Habs. Maybe they should stop whining from the top of the orginization down and man up.

Posted by Realmk from Boston on 03/13/12 at 05:44 PM ET

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