Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Refs disgrace themselves in Pittsburgh

What took place at Mellon Arena was a travesty. There's no other way around it.

When you have Chico Resch agreeing with irate fans over blatant interference by Brian Gionta on a play they somehow ruled a goal when they clearly lost sight of the puck, you know it's bad. Especially when a ticked off Marc-Andre Fleury practically shoved the net at one of the refs. The still young 22 year-old netminder was far from sharp but he certainly had a valid point in an instance which cost his team a goal. They lost the game by a goal too.

The penalties in the second period were discouragable:

2nd Period
Pittsburgh hooking - 2 min 4:37, J. Ruutu
Pittsburgh hooking - 2 min 6:47, D. Sydor
Pittsburgh hooking - 2 min 7:21, P. Sykora
Pittsburgh holding - 2 min 9:37, M. Recchi
Pittsburgh too many men on the ice - 2 min 12:24, Bench served by P. Sykora
Pittsburgh hooking - 2 min 14:21, S. Gonchar
New Jersey puck over glass - 2 min 15:03, A. Greene
New Jersey high sticking - 2 min 17:33, Z. Parise
New Jersey holding - 2 min 17:54, P. Martin
Pittsburgh holding - 2 min 19:39, R. Malone
Pittsburgh unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min 19:39, R. Malone

Is this supposed to be hockey? They ruined a good game.

Aside from that, the late too many men on the ice penalty after Evgeni Malkin had scored looked extremely questionable. It seemed kind of odd to wipe out that goal. You're telling me the Devils didn't have too many men on the ice as well? It was about as poor a change as you'll ever see. And here's why it should've probably counted. From the AP story:

The Penguins appeared to take a 4-3 lead with 7:36 left in the second when Jordan Staal fed Malkin during a 2-on-0 -- but Pittsburgh was called for too many men. Defenseman Brooks Orpik made a pass from near his own net to Staal on the opposite blue line as both teams were making line changes. No whistle blew and neither referee appeared to raise his arm before the goal.

I'm extremely curious as to how many other instances have you seen a goal which btw was ruled that on the ice then got overturned about a minute later. This was a very eerie situation which drew the Pens' fans ire. It didn't help much when a couple of tacky calls insighted fans who tossed debris on the ice which was embarrassing for everyone.

I hate to say it but the officials got exactly what they deserved in this instance. The team of Dean Morton and Dennis LaRue clearly lost control out there. If I were Pittsburgh coach Michel Therien, I would've taken my team off the ice in protest.

It's rare when the officiating becomes so bad, that fans who coughed up good money are justified in their actions. But I can't say I blame them.

This was the worst officiated game I've ever seen. And sadly, this is becoming more the norm in today's league.

It's bad enough that they put in a stupid rule moving faceoffs to center ice away from dots and the new league site stats can't even be understood. What can't be tolerated is what took place tonight to help impact an ultracompetitive contest.

Congrats to the digusting duo of Morton and LaRue. They'll probably get a league bonus for that performance.

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