Tag: officiating complaints


Tough start for Coyotes: Toews scores, Vrbata banged up

It’s understandable that there’s a festive atmosphere in Phoenix. The Coyotes won their first-ever division title. They avoided the Detroit Red Wings after being bounced from the playoffs twice by that team. Unfortunately for the ‘Yotes, the early goings against Chicago haven’t been all peaches and cream.

First, Jonathan Toews signaled his return to action by scoring an opening goal against Phoenix:

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Things went from bad to worse as Radim Vrbata appears to be banged up. Reports are mixed on whether he’s just being evaluated or whether he’ll miss the game completely, but Elliotte Friedman’s update doesn’t foster a lot of confidence for one of the NHL’s sneakiest scorers.

Not every break went against Phoenix, though. The CSN Chicago telecast indicates that the Coyotes might have gotten away with a too many men on the ice infraction in the first portion of a sequence that eventually ended up with a 1-1 goal. Look out for more on what might be the next officiating controversy of these young playoffs later tonight.

Mike Babcock critiques officials during in-game interview

Mike Babcock

Sure, there are plenty of times when coaches and players have cliches on call, but in-game and post-game interviews exist because emotional reactions occasionally bleed through. Wednesday night represented one of those times as Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock reacted to a heavy run of penalties in his team’s match against the Nashville Predators while he was interviewed by Brian Engblom.

“The refs are trying to get to the Stanley Cup finals just like the rest of us,” Babcock said.

Check out video of the interview below:

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Naturally, that honest bit of criticism brought out the snark (particularly in comparison to John Tortorella’s recent fine), but the question is: should Babcock’s wallet be a little lighter?

Perhaps, but I think it would set a bad example. It’s one thing to hand a hefty punishment on Tortorella for comments made during a press conference, yet the New York Rangers coach at least had a little more time to decide that he would speak his mind. If the NHL wants to encourage interesting discussion during on-the-bench interviews, then hitting Babcock hard would be counterproductive – it was in the heat of the moment, after all.

What do you think, though? Does Babcock deserve some kind of punishment – even if it’s mainly to be “fair” to Tortorella? Does he have a point? Maybe a little of both? Share your thoughts.

Danny Briere was offside on 3-1 goal

Danny Briere

Danny Briere isn’t the biggest player by any means, so the Philadelphia Flyers forward has become the leading playoff scorer of the post-lockout era because of his cleverness and craftiness. Apparently he’s good at sneaking by officials’ eyes every now and then, as the NBC Sports Network gang captured evidence that Briere was offside while receiving the pass that set up Philly’s only goal so far in a 3-1 game that eventually morphed into a 4-3 overtime shocker.

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It certainly wouldn’t be fair to pin a potential comeback on that blown call alone – some will quibble with an icing that wasn’t called, eventually allowing Pascal Dupuis’ 3-0 goal to happen – but it absolutely helped to open up the door for a Flyers resurgence.

Conspiracy theorists tend to pile up against the Penguins, but any tin foil hat wearers in Pittsburgh might break them out if this game gets interesting as the third period approaches.