Saturday, February 3, 2007

Frustration Boils Over

Here were some comments about the officiating in the Ranger-Lightning game in which way too many questionable penalties were called which begged the question has the league gone too far:

"WTF!!!!! ARE YOU F'ing KIDDING ME? HOW DID HE HOOK?"

"This league is bullsh1t. I'm out."

"You can thank Mr Bettman for that.
Cannot watch this garbage anymore. The refs have ruined a great game. I'm done. That was the last straw. I'll be back when Bettman is either dead or fired, or when they straighten this game out."

"Win lose or draw I'm done too..this isn't the hockey I grew up with and this year it always seems the rangers are at the wrong end."

I never thought that things would get this bad. But it is disturbing when you look at almost every boxscore and notice all the penalties. The officials are far from perfect. But if they're going to continue to make every call at this rate, it will continue to slow down the game to a crawl. A perfect example. The Rangers-Lightning game was at least five minutes ahead of the Buffalo-New Jersey one due to the Devils honoring their past players from the 1995 Cup team. By the end of the night though even with the officials combining for 10 or 11 minors in that Devil game, it actually concluded before the game in St. Petersburg. Both games were decided by a goal. But one had more stoppages which hurt the flow. Many traditionalists I spoke too last year who weren't in favor of the tacky obstruction calls would evolve into. A year later, they look prophetic. The biggest question is how will it be called this Spring? I am not sure.

I really feel it's time for the league to get a new commisioner who is in tune with what needs to be done to address these issues along with other things which have been pointed out a lot. Bettman has had his reign. He has failed miserably. I am very down on what's gone on. This isn't the sport it was. The diehards love battles in the corners for loose pucks. Me personally, I like when a player works his ass off to draw a legit penalty. And what I mean by that is they have possession of the puck, make a move and then get hooked or held and the arm comes up. It seems to me that they're rewarding the guys who go down more than the guys who skate through that crap. Isn't that what they put the rules in there for? To reward the guys who battle and don't flop to the ice. If they're being impeded, fine. But if it's a small hook which has no effect, it shouldn't be called.

We've seen ups and downs regarding this league the past two years. It's upsetting to see passionate fans so disenchanted with the product that they're ready to throw in the towel. I love the sport and I'm sure they do too. But they're older than myself and have seen a much different game change a lot through the years. How can it be fixed? I'll continue to watch because that's part of my responsibility. If I didn't write or take part in an internet show, I'll admit that my interest might dwindle as well.

I'm lost. We really need to get Greg Wyshynski on our show Wednesday and see what he has to say. He is a diehard Devil fan but also a very knowledgable writer who knows the game and understands what's wrong as well. He has a Devils book coming out I believe soon. Hopefully, we can land him as a guest and discuss the game as well as how close that book is to finally being out.

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