Thursday, January 31

NHL Rule #94 (New): No Stick Checks

Every single time the topic of officiating comes up in any hockey broadcast I watch, I hear the commentators say the exact same thing: That NHL officiating is the best officiating in the entire sports world. If that is indeed true, then I now know why NASCAR is so popular.

The Keystone Cops of tonight's joke-a-thon between The Leafs and The Hurricanes were Mike "Eggo My" Leggo, and Don "30 Years Experience" Koharski. Now before I get started on this, I don't want any non-Leaf fans who may be reading (ie: Moose) to think that this is one of those "the calls always go against The Leafs" posts of years gone by. It isn't. But for fuck sake, in the 21st fucking century, how can a game be called so shittily?

Forgetting the Blake no-goal that Cam Ward had to reach back into the locker room to pull out. Forgetting that Scott Walker was pointing at some chick in the upper bowl with his stick when the puck struck it, sending it on a 45 degree downward trajectory into the net; at least the war room validated those. It was the snow-blind call on Antropov in overtime that gives refereeing a terrible name. It's the kind of thing that robs a little bit of the love of the game from you, when you realize that with 2 and a half minutes to go in overtime, some tubby man-tit from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia- who wasn't go enough to play- just changed your teams fate.

So Stillman is exiting the zone when Antropov tries to stick check him from behind. Koharski, naturally, calls him for HOOKING, sending the Hurricanes on a game winning powerplay. I mean, that's just fucking wrong and awful, and not just because it went against the Leafs; that's just the cruelest cut of all. If we'd won on that, I'd accept the extra point, but I wouldn't take any pride in it.

Apparently Antropov was assessed two game misconducts after the horn for "abusing the officials", which I hope meant he was hitting them with a belt and screaming that they'd never amount to anything. Either way, that's a three game suspension. Maurice, whose had it up to here, came very close to criticizing the officials to the media scrum, so we'll see if he gets fined by the league. I hope he does. You know why? Because he was right: