There are few things that annoy people around the league more than a player diving. So when an NHL referee tells a coach during the game that one of his players didn’t get a call because he’s a diver, it’s sure to hit a nerve.
In the final minutes of the Ducks tight 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, Ryan Getzlaf reached out with one hand and hit defenseman Erik Karlsson on the leg with his stick. Karlsson when down to the ice and it minimized a Grade A scoring chance with just over a minute left in the game. The Ducks eventually were able to recover the puck after a weak backhand attempt, clear the puck, and ultimately win the game.
The play could have gone either way. We’ve seen far less called tripping this season; yet we’ve seen far more forgiven in the waning minutes of a game. The controversy stems from the comments made from referee Dan O’Rourke to Senators’ head coach Paul MacLean after the play.
“The referee informed us that (Karlsson) was a diver,” MacLean told the media after the game. “We were a little bit disappointed. Erik Karlsson leads the league in points by a defenseman, he’s an elite skater in the league, and, to this point in time, I can never remember him taking a dive. If it’s not a penalty, it’s not a penalty, but I don’t think you should be accusing someone of being a diver. That’s a pretty serious accusation, isn’t it?”
What do you think? Do you think Erik Karlsson has earned the reputation as a diver in the past? More importantly, do you think the on-ice officials should take that into account when a player goes down at the end of the game?
Fire off in the comments…