Kind Of Makes You Wonder, Doesn’t It?

Tony Gallagher, who has been covering the NHL out of Vancouver since 1972, has this to say about the Habs-Caps game.

“Did you notice when the Montreal Canadiens were up big in their game against the Washington Capitals and were threatening to take a 2-0 series lead against the league’s most promoted team and most promoted player in Alex Ovechkin, they suddenly ran into a series of highly questionable penalties.

Odd how that happens, sort of reminds you of how a team threatening to take a big lead in nationally televised NBA game suddenly runs into weird offensive fouls and travelling violations while the trailing team seems to be able to pull a gun and not get a foul.

Finally there were enough power-play opportunities for the Caps to get the momentum back, the crowd into the game and eventually the New York office was breathing easier as the Caps evened the series at 1-1. At the NBC offices, they must have been nearing collective embolism.”

18 thoughts on “Kind Of Makes You Wonder, Doesn’t It?”

  1. To move this away from the reffing and towards the NHL head office. After Montreal’s 4th goal the NHL central office took 5 minutes to review an earlier shot by Montreal to see if it went in. This long delay killed the Canadien’s momentum and gave the Capitals a long time-out to strategize a turn-around.

    That 4th goal had both Kostitsyn and Plekanec directly in front of Varlamov. During this lengthy time-out Boudreau must have been yelling at his forwards to go to the net.

  2. sounds like the KGBettman at work. anything to promote his unrealistic dream/goal of hockey being successful in the south…………but as toe said,excuses are for losers.

  3. But Jordy, doesn’t it make you wonder? I agree when he says the Caps and Ovechkin are the glamour ones and the league would love to see them continue on. And already in the Canucks series the officiating has been questionable. I’m sure Bettman would prefer LA to Vancouver.

  4. Jordy, also – Remember that NBA ref who did time for betting on games? Donaghy or something like that? He said that refs would get together and agree that because some player had made them look bad, he would be called for stuff much more than others. There were other examples I can’t think of right now. I feel there are different sorts of conspiracys involved in big-business sport.

  5. the refs give me ulcers during the game and hate thinking about their stupidity after the game. I doubt we can change what they’re gonna do next game. lets just hope fot the best. ovie sucks.

  6. I think we can liken Game 2 to Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals in the NBA. That year, the Sacramento Kings headed to L.A. with a 3-2 series lead on the Los Angeles Lakers- the team with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal (back when Shaq was actually a great player)- but proceeded to lose the game by four points; after several disputed calls highlighted by 27 free throws in the fourth quarter. Tim Donaghy said in his memoirs that the game was fixed by the NBA, presumably because they could promote Kobe, Shaq and L.A. and couldn’t promote Sacramento and Vlade Divac.

    I’m not sure if we can go this far with Game 2, but it wouldn’t surprise me with all the calls that went against Montreal that a fix was in. I haven’t seen that many favourable calls against a team in my entire life. My favourite one, though, wasn’t Mike Knuble parking his rear end right in Jaroslav Halak’s face or Tom Poti literally dragging Halak out of the crease but when Alexander Ovechkin scored his “goal”. Halak had the puck covered in between his legs but the refs allowed Ovechkin poke the puck home. I’ve seen that play whistled dead countless times before and today we had another incidence of the “quick whistle” when Pekka Rinne was the beneficiary of one despite the fact the Blackhawk player (I forget who) tucked it home a split second after Rinne got his glove on the puck.

    Perhaps Game 2 was just the harbinger of things to come, considering many prognosticators (but not me, actually) predicted a Washington romp, but I hope this isn’t the turning point. Montreal and all it stands for- the fans, the history, the glory- deserves far better than this travesty.


  7. Good comments, DG. Ovechkin’s goal should’ve been blown dead, and Halak being dragged around bordered on funny. The whole thing was a mess and I never really believed things were slanted until I saw Tim Donaghy interviewed and he went into detail how the refs would influence games. And Tone Gallagher made a good point by saying the league would much prefer the glamour team, the Caps, and the league glamour boy, Ovechkin, to carry on deep into the playoffs.
    Thanks. And your site, the is a smart site.

  8. good point Dennis. I completely forgot about that NBA ref. I definitely agree that Gary Bettman would rather see the caps advance in hopes of having a show down with the pens again. I dont know what I would do if the results of playoff hockey were proven to be pre-determined.

  9. excerpt from Donaghy’s book below. makes you wonder what they were talking to the refs about during that 10 minute phone conversation after AK’s perfectly fine 4th goal?? even more so when recalling the fact that Bettman was head of NBA marketing during much of the time that Donaghy writes about. i smell some dirty business…


    Studying under Dick Bavetta for 13 years was like pursuing a graduate degree in advanced game manipulation. He knew how to marshal the tempo and tone of a game better than any referee in the league, by far. He also knew how to take subtle — and not so subtle — cues from the NBA front office and extend a playoff series or, worse yet, change the complexion of that series.

    The 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings presents a stunning example of game and series manipulation at its ugliest. As the teams prepared for Game 6 at the Staples Center, Sacramento had a 3–2 lead in the series. The referees assigned to work Game 6 were Dick Bavetta, Bob Delaney, and Ted Bernhardt. As soon as the referees for the game were chosen, the rest of us knew immediately that there would be a Game 7. A prolonged series was good for the league, good for the networks, and good for the game. Oh, and one more thing: it was great for the big-market, star-studded Los Angeles Lakers.

    In the pregame meeting prior to Game 6, the league office sent down word that certain calls — calls that would have benefitted the Lakers — were being missed by the referees. This was the type of not-so-subtle information that I and other referees were left to interpret. After receiving the dispatch, Bavetta openly talked about the fact that the league wanted a Game 7.

  10. Hey Dennis, Maybe it’s time for a former nhl ref to pipe up about what is really going on.I do believe anything is possible when you have a greedy little lawyer invoved in managing a league he knows nothing about, the answer is making money for the owners. We have lost our game with all the rule changes that filter down to the minor leagues and become the way the game is played,they’ve ruined it.

  11. That’s a good thought, Derry. Someone to come forward who’s now retired and say yay or nay about all this.

  12. You know I’ve thought about this since just after Bettman arrived on the scene, the missed calls and phantom calls that were never as much of an issue before.

  13. While driving home listening to the Ottawa station complain about poor refereeing one comment stood out. There was the suggestion that the NHL should go back to 1 referee as there aren’t enough good ones to cover all the games. It would definitely make it more consistent in a game as to what is a penalty and what isn’t.

  14. Catching up on the other comments I see Derry made a similar comment earlier today. #14 of the Nightmare.

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