MARLBORO, NY – Do you remember way back to your childhood at the exact time when you thought professional wrestling was real? You were upset that the good guy was being beaten by some illegal form of chicanery by the villain, who was hiding a pair of brass knuckles – or the like – from the “unknowing” referee. Well, on Friday night I experienced this type of ineptitude with the NHL Playoffs. The referees who tried to officiate my beloved Boston Bruins out of the playoffs against the Ottawa Senators.
This story begins with GAME 3, culminating with a Riley Nash retaliatory penalty on Bobby Ryan in OT which should have been matching minors, except the stooges in striped shirts put Ottawa on the eventual game winning PP also scored by the aforementioned Ryan. The normally even-mannered color commentator Pierre McGuire was adamant that the refs blew the play by not calling dual minors so don’t tell me I’m being biased here. You judge the bullshit yourself…
During GAME 5 the refs aspired to greater follies in OT again by disallowing a Bruins goal on a very questionable goalie interference call and then egregiously not calling for a penalty or penalty shot in the second overtime period. Again, you play referee by watching the highlights below (FWD to 4:05). Keep in mind the rule straight from the official NHL Rulebook… 67.4 Penalty Shot – If a defending player, except a goalkeeper, while play is in progress, falls on the puck (which Jean-Gabriel Pageau does), holds the puck (which he does), picks up the puck, or gathers the puck into his body or hands from the ice in the goal crease area (which he does), the play shall be stopped immediately and a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team(which the referees didn’t do).
The analysis on all broadcasts has been of incredulous nature concerning the referees screwing up these calls and thus determining the outcome of games. There might be a conspiracy against the Bruins but more of a plot to advance the Senators who are a Canadian team (and wouldn’t the league love a Montreal-Ottawa series so be careful Rangers fans) and are riding the feel good story of goalie Craig Anderson, who left his team early in the year in order to care for his cancer-stricken wife and returned to help the team gain a playoff birth. I will continue my combination of bourbon and Xanax to quell my heightened anxiety when it comes to the zebras in these Bruins games.
The type of officiating going on in this series is that of what we saw in the 1972 Men’s Olympic Basketball between USA-USSR, when the refs reset the final seconds a million times until the Soviets prevailed. If you’re under the age of forty, you’ll be amazed at that blatant thievery.
At any given time the Bruins are facing this type of adversity playing the four referees and five Senators skaters making for a penalty-kill situation all game long. Consider the Bruins won on Friday night to force Game 6 later on this afternoon or else the tone of this column would have been an expletive-laden effort. LET’S GO BRUINS!
That’s it. Please comment below and come back tomorrow for a man who knows only playoff hockey pain, DJ Eberle. And please follow us on Twitter – @CheesyBruin & @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.