Refs wanted to avoid “circus” in Pens-Flyers Game 4

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr told Mark Masters what many assumed when watching some vigilant penalty-calling in Game 4 of Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: officials weren’t going to allow things to unravel.

“They said there was a circus the last three games and they were going to be in charge and call everything,” Jagr said.

This video shows how swiftly referees dealt with moments that could have been catalysts for bad blood and general shenanigans. (Specifically when it came to Zac Rinaldo being, well, Zac Rinaldo.)

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That wasn’t the only moment of proactive whistle work, either. It might not have been totally fair to seemingly reformed forward Matt Cooke, but officials quickly defused a situation in which there was some rough stuff between Cooke, Pavel Kubina, Wayne Simmonds and Joe Vitale by handing out game misconducts like hot cakes.

Perhaps it took the fire out of any chance of having an especially interesting third period, but considering how things went at the end of Game 3 in particular, it was probably the right course.

We’ll see what kind of circus-like scenarios the rest of this series has in store for us soon enough, though.