Blaming the referees is a crutch. We all do it because referees are generally worthy of our abuse (at the professional level) and we need a reason to vent. They make bad calls all the time. They miss obvious ones all the time. Generally, though, things tend to even out in the end. Well…most the time they do.
Any referee will tell you they call the plays the way they see it. The whole concept of make-up calls is bogus and it’s just a coincidence if it appears that’s what the zebras are doing.
Any referee will tell you that because they are liars. They are filthy liars.
We all know what happens in the game of hockey especially. I’ll use totally fictional names of completely not real players to explain. They call a guy, let’s name him Drake Caggiula, for high sticking but 20 seconds later they see on the Jumbo-Tron that (again, totally made up name) Logan Couture snapped his head back because he’s been traumatized by the fact that his face is held together with used gum and bits of twine. He’s jumpier than bucking bronco. The referee knows he made a mistake and the next time a Sharks player reaches in with the stick it’s a hooking call. Everything goes back to even. The referee goes to bed knowing that whatever advantage he gave one team was balanced in the end.
That scenario and those players, of course, are not real. You can tell that scenario isn’t real because the Oilers got the makeup call when the referee saw he made a poor call in the moments before. It isn’t a real scenario because the Oilers are getting thrashed by the officiating crews of the NHL. What’s happening with the power play opportunities in this series is bizarre.
In the seven other first round series in these playoffs, the power play opportunities between both teams is extremely close. So close, in fact, that you might believe that was “normal” and “The way it was intended to be.” This is what those look like.
PPs by series:
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) April 19, 2017
The biggest difference in power play opportunities belongs to the +3 for the Flames, who were swept in their series. From there the next biggest differential is +2, but all teams are within striking distance of each other. Everything is as expected. Then there’s the Edmonton/San Jose series.
The Sharks have had 6 more power play opportunities than the next closest team in the playoffs AND they own an eye-popping +10 differential on the man-advantage. San Jose has had as many power plays on the road as Edmonton has had in total. What on God’s green Earth is going on here? Sure, there have been some plays that absolutely deserved to be called (you really can’t try to castrate people, Leon), but have the Oilers been so evil as to warrant a -10 power play differential?
Blaming the refereeing is generally the most ridiculous thing a hockey team can do. That’s the case because typically the penalties will be close and Team X will get almost as many opportunities as Team Y. That is not happening or at least has not happened yet in this series. The Edmonton Oilers can rightfully look at this and be able to ask what is going on. There needs to be an explanation for the way the games have been officiated thus far.
This really is atypical. This really isn’t standard operating procedure for the NHL. If the Oilers lose this series will it be because of the officiating? I hate to blame the referees because it’s such a crutch, but I think we can fairly say that the Oilers are not just playing against the Sharks. They’re also playing against the officials.
Why are seven other playoff series so damned close and one completely off the rails? I don’t know, but it’s a problem.
Watching at home tonight?
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