Canadiens head coach Randy Cunneyworth was highly critical of referees Ghislain Hebert and Chris Lee after Montreal’s 5-3 loss to New Jersey on Thursday night.
“We were battling and working hard and I liked for the most part the effort and the desperation,” Cunneyworth told the Montreal Gazette following the game. “The difference was the penalties. It’s hard to fight a good team when you’re down a man for as much time as we were.”
Montreal was whistled for four penalties on the night, New Jersey three, though it was the non-calls that really drew Cunneyworth’s ire. Specifically, an alleged missed hooking call on Zach Parise’s game-winning goal.
“[Erik] Cole was obviously hooked and could not battle to get the puck out of his zone. He was held up by [Ilya] Kovalchuk and that’s a little bit beyond comprehension for me,” Cunneyworth explained. “It’s tough enough playing a team straight up, but when you don’t get the calls, especially on the one that made the difference.”
That Hebert was at the center of this game is interesting — he was one of the referees that Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville blasted after a 2-0 loss to L.A. back in December. Quenneville said the work of Hebert and fellow official Tom Kowal was “tough to watch.”
Hebert was also one of the referees working the Milan Lucic-Ryan Miller game and the one that famously called the “Sean Avery Rule” on Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger in 2010.