Monday, January 9, 2012

Lucic's Game Misconduct A Bogus Call

View the sin bin: Boston Bruins: On-Ice Officials Cost B’s Rematch with Vancouver Canucks.

By now you’ve heard the Boston Bruins lost their rematch with the Canucks on Saturday by a 4-3 tally. That’s bad enough, but the way it came about…and the aftermath…was worse. First…Vancouver scored all four goals on the power play. We knew going in there would be a lot of penalties in this one, and both teams didn’t disappoint. But the B’s penalty kill will have to be better against top-tier teams going forward. Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley, and David Krejci scored for the Bruins.

Early in the first period, six Canucks surrounded Shawn Thornton and tried to take him on. Funny how Vancouver won’t take anyone on one-on-one, but that’s a story for another day. Milan Lucic—as you would expect---came to the aid of his teammate. But the refs felt Looch came over the boards solely to engage in the fight, which is a blatant rule violation and they tossed Milan. Game misconduct. Problem is it was pretty clear Lucic was coming into the ice for a line change and the brawl was just a coincidence. Within hours of the end of the game, the NHL rescinded Lucic’s gamer, as the video showed no violation.

Talk about too little, too late. Thanks, NHL. You take one of the Bruins’ best players off the ice four minutes into an important game, the B’s lose, and after you say, “never mind?” Really? That’s the best you can do? And we wonder why hockey isn’t treated like a major sport in some quarters. Obviously, they can’t replay the game. But who know what the outcome would have been if Looch was able to do his thing for the remainder of the game?

The Bin’s take: One of two things should happen. The on-ice officials should be severely disciplined. Suspensions and fines at a minimum. Firing for any repeat offender. Follow whatever disciplinary process is in place for officials. Or…the league allows instant replay for disputed goals. Why not for review of any game misconduct or match penalty? A blown call could have just as much impact on the outcome of the game as whether the puck actually crossed the goal line or was deflected in off a skate with the dreaded ‘distinct kicking motion.” As a rule the Bin is opposed to instant replay in any sport. It destroys the momentum and flow of the game. The games are played by humans and officiated by humans. Make the call. Consult with other officials to confirm. Reverse if necessary. Move on. But if we’re going to have replay, let’s make sure we use it when the outcome of the contest rides on the call.

Just sayin’.

1 comment:

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