Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The phlegmatic Jacques Martin reacts to the Mike Blunden blown call

For the last couple of days we’ve seen a lot of debate on how Mr. Martin should have reacted to the blown call on Mr. Blunden against the Rangers. We’ve again coalesced in two factions, one which believes he should have blown a gasket and thrown stuff on the ice, and another that says he shouldn’t have spoken on the matter so as not to antagonize the refs who would exact revenge with future phantom calls.

I think it’s reasonable that the correct response is somewhere in the middle. He should have explained to the refs at the time with passion and conviction, but without anger, how they had not called the play correctly, especially as he had seen the play occur right in front of him, and was probably getting word from upstairs on what the replays showed. This way, the refs know they possibly/probably messed up, and that enters the equation next time they have to make a subjective call, but they are not offended or humiliated and less likely to develop a personal agenda.

The camera work on TSN didn’t really show Mr. Martin having that conversation, only Mr. Tortorella, who chews up the scenery and is more TV-friendly. All we got to see on TSN was Mr. Martin shrugging ineffectually, which adds grist to the mill for naysayers, whereas MSG’s feed shows Mr. Martin having a conversation with the refs briefly.

The press conference was handled properly, and I’m sure the League office got to hear about this through official channels, as opposed to through the media.

This is another opportunity the NHL has to emulate the NFL and make a public statement that the call was blown. It doesn’t do anything about the 2 points in the standings that the Canadiens didn’t have a fair opportunity to compete for, but it does repair the credibility of the league to an extent, a dire need after the Colon Campbell Reign of Error.

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