Tuesday, 1 April 2014

NHL Officiating Inconsistency. Who's at fault?

Who’s to blame for the inconsistency with NHL officiating? Is it the Referees? Is it the players? Is it the coaches? Or is it the League?

Inconsistency with NHL officiating seems to be a big problem this year, but don’t kid yourselves habs fans it’s not only happening in Montreal and in games involving the Montreal Canadiens.

In Montreal this season, we’ve seen several goals that have been disallowed, we’ve seen questionable calls on PK Subban and Brendan Gallagher9(partly their fault due to the reputation they have). We’ve seen some players do the exact same things we call “hockey plays” that Subban and Gallagher do, and get away with them. These types of situations happen in every single rink in the league, every single day.

The game is faster than ever, the players are big and strong, the coaches have great strategies and “The League has instructions that they give the Officials.

There are currently 42 Referees and 35 Linesmen on active duty in the NHL. 28 out of the 42 referees have anywhere from 10 to 26 years of NHL experience. I don’t expect any of these guys to officiate a game the same way. It’s impossible. Every person reacts to different situations in different ways. What one referee sees as a high stick is a hook to another, what one sees as a hook is nothing at all to another official. Fans will always complain regardless. It’s human nature.

What has become clear is that we’re all wrong. The officiating is extremely consistent. They call what they see. That’s the bottom line. That’s where the war room in Toronto comes in. And ladies and gentlemen that’s where the problem is!
As fans our major issue is when the Referees go to Toronto and the decisions are almost never the same on plays that are identical. A rule is a rule. The intent of a player shouldn’t be considered. He either did it or he didn’t. He either hit the goalie or he didn’t. He either kicked the puck or he didn’t. Nobody can read someone else’s thoughts. This nonsense has to stop.

The problem is not the inconsistency of the Officials; it’s the inconsistency of the NHL.
The NHL has the war room in Toronto where you have “NON-OFFICIALS” taking officiating decisions. To me that’s absolutely absurd. You don’t ask a player to referee or a referee to play. That doesn’t make any sense. The war room should have at least 1 official assisting with the final decision. The referee knows the rule book inside out, the referee has been applying the RULES his whole life.

The NHL has to stop using the word “ INTENT”. My favorite one is the “INTENT TO WHISTLE”. Oh come on. It’s either the whistle was blown or it wasn’t. It’s either player A pushed player B from behind, not the intent. Punish the action, everybody will learn from it.




Monday, 31 March 2014

Therrien finally has it all right. Almost all!

Michel Therrien finally has it all right. Ok, almost all of it!

Yes you read it right, I'm indeed praising the coach of the Montreal Canadiens. In recent games, I have noticed a very different Michel Therrien. He's being much more patient with his offensive lines than he has in the past. After a very short experience with Vanek and Plekanec, Therrien decided to go with Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek. Although Vanek was getting his chances in the first few games, he wasn't able to capitalize. Some fans were already crucifying Bergevin and expecting the coach to change his lines. (Bipolar we are) This time Therrien didn't panic. He saw what was happening. Vanek was shooting and creating chances. It was just a matter of time. And now all of a sudden, at the moment, these three guys are playing as well as any #1 line in the NHL.

What I love about this line is much more than the offensive production. For the first time in a while, it's not just about Desharnais looking for Pacciorety, it's about 3 very talented players believing in each other. It's about 3 guys having fun. It's about all 3 players knowing where the other is on the ice and trusting each other. Oh yeah, in case some of you haven't noticed, Vanek is a hell of a passer and playmaker, far from being a guy that can only score goals.

Special teams : Although Brian Gionta is playing some spectacular hockey as of late, his role has changed. Michel Therrien seems to have realized that Gionta is no longer a 30 goal scorer and is using him as he should. Gionta has lost his spot on the powerplay and is now playing on a third line with 2 other veterans. He's being used on the PK, which is a specialty of his. Good job Therrien. Only 1 suggestion to the coach; please don't use Gionta for 26 minutes, ever again!

Only negative note is PK Subban's partner. There's no way that Francis Bouillon should be playing over 20 minutes a game and realistically he shouldn't even be in the lineup.(ok I'd rather have him in than Murray) I can't wait for Josh Gorges to be back so PK can play with the confidence that his partner is not a liability.

Questions :  Is Beaulieu going to be called up? Should he be? Can't he bring more than Murray, Bouillon?


Monday, 24 March 2014

Therrien, are you out of your mind?

Michel Therrien's decision to play his backup goalie against the hottest team in the NHL is absurd. Michel Therrien, are you out of your mind?

It's March 24th, the Montréal Canadiens have 10 games left and have 85 points, only 6 points more that the 9th seeded Capitals. Unless there's a disaster habs are indeed going to make the playoffs. However every point is important. Habs need as many points as possible to secure home ice for at least the first round.

The Montréal Canadiens have 2 games in 2 nights. Tonight against the Bruins and tomorrow against the Sabres.

Therrien decided to give the net to Budaj tonight. Unless Price is still hurt and doesnt play tomorrow either, Therrien is a complete baffoon!

There is no valid explanation for this decision. No stats in the world will convince me that Budaj should be playing tonight. I dont care about his record against the Bruins. Come on that doesnt mean anything. You play your best Goalie against the better team and your weaker goalie against the weaker team.

Michel Therrien says the following this morning :
(from the 98.5sports website)
 "L'entraîneur MichelTherrien n'a pas voulu confirmer l'identité de son gardien partant, mais il a noté que son équipe jouait avec«beaucoup de confiance» lorsque Price est dans les buts."

He says his team plays with a lot  of confidence with Price in the net, yet he decides to play Budaj against a team that has won their last 12 games.

I'm hoping that i'm wrong about this one but I have a feeling that tomorrow I wont be as polite as I was today.