Sunday, 8 November 2015

Game 16: Canadiens 4, Bruins 2

The Canadiens win a game against the dreaded Bruins last night, although it seemed like they were also playing against the refs, the War Room in Toronto, the Board of Governors, the League office, ...

Here are my disjointed thoughts and anguished cries of outrage from last night.

--All these calls, every single one that the refs are blowing, could easily be dealt with and corrected, gotten right, by a Television Match Official like the Rugby World Cup used.

Easy peasy.

But Gary Bettman is otherwise busy sneaking an Ensludge Tar Sands & Prosperity logo on the Flames’ jersey.

--(upon the Canadiens' second goal being scored, later to be disallowed)  Plekanec! #1 Line! Chara on his ass complaining!

--(after the review and reversal of the goal)  The NHL is a farce. They don’t want the ‘toe in the crease’ fiasco anymore, since the Brett Hull goal against the Sabres in the Cup final, they allow players to be in the paint, contrary to international hockey, so Gally was allowed to be there.

Despite Mike Johnson calling it a tough call, it wasn’t at all. He didn’t touch Gustaffson until the Big Ape pushed him in there. At the very least, there was no indisputable evidence.

The fix is in. Refs hate Montréal. Toronto hates Montréal. Sportsnet hates Montréal.

--Lars goes to the net, is rewarded.  Remember that Lars.

--I’ll make the request again, to anyone out there who has access to that info, to compare how many Toronto War Room calls involving Montréal fall in our favour, and how many go against us.

By simple math, the league average should be 50%. With a large enough sample, each team should be pretty close to that figure. Win some, lose some.

I’d be interested to see if we are at 50%, or significantly lower, and we can do the work to see if there is a statistical significance in the number we come up with.

Another curlicue would be to see the results involving us against Toronto and against Boston. Just to see. Probably too few instances to get a large enough sample size, but nonetheless, let’s look at it.  For sport.

And if I’m crazy, if it turns out that we are at 50%, not 10 or 20% in our favour, the refs massively against us, then I’ll make goodly use of my employee assistance program and work on my persecution complex with a mental health care professional.

The guys in Finance have been complaining about my memos anyway, maybe I am missing some receipts after all, maybe they're not out to get me…

--(about Max Pacioretty sealing the win with an empty-net goal)  In truth, I’m actually really happy to see Tomas or Max out there with the empty nets, and actually burying their chances this year, sealing wins.

Last year and before, it was like pulling teeth trying to get an empty-net goal, they’d be missing and hitting posts and then flailing around in their end. This year, we’re giving the coup de grâce early, putting an end to it.

I love that this season, we’re burying the empty-netters, and quickly. Saves on the wear and tear, the blocked shots and the getting plastered against the glass with the refs letting everything slide.

Last year we lost a couple of games after missing empty nets. This season, we’re nailing that coffin down.

--The dive by Millar on Andrei Markov, the too-many-men penalty, all these could/would be viewed in real time by a Television Match Official, who could advise the ref when he makes a wrong call, or when he misses one.

In the case of the dive, the penalty, fine, suspension, all that could happen in real time, the call reversed immediately, on the spot. None of this “We made the call, we have to stick with our decision” BS.

Imagine if you will the NHL embraces the World Cup Rugby refereeing method. So you have one on-ice official, one Television Match Official with two or three propeller heads providing him with multiple views on a panoply of screens. The two line judges can also at any time signal they witnessed an infraction, speak to the ref at the next opportunity.
[As play is going on]
TMO: “Chris, I have a dangerous play by 72 White for you to review when you get a chance…”
[Both refs are miked, in constant radio communication with each other, the crowd and television audience can hear this conversation as it happens.]
Chris Lee: “Okay…”
[Chara trips over his disgusting feet, falls offside, causes a whistle]
TMO: “Okay Chris, at the 16:30 minute mark, you’ll see #72 White slewfoot #51 Red.”
[Three different angles are played by the TMO staff. The crowd in the arena get to watch along on the scoreboard screen. The folks at home get these views as well. The ref and the line judges watch at the same time, on a screen or tablet, whichever is more convenient.]
TMO: “That’s it Chris, those are the best angles.”
Lee: “Okay, so I see a slewfoot, that’s a two minute penalty, and a yellow card for a dangerous play, I don’t think that’s worth a red card?…”
TMO: “I agree Chris, yellow card only…”
[Addressing the crowd, the Bruins bench]
Lee: “We have a minor penalty, tripping, #72 Boston, and a ten-minute misconduct.”
***Note: In Rugby, the penalty would be a ‘free kick’, option of a kick for touch and possession at the ensuing lineout, or kick at goal for three points, or a scrum. The penalized team would be one player down, playing 14 against 15.
In today’s game, with the technology, there is no need for the secrecy, the impenetrable War Room, the headsets and the opacity of the decision, which the NHL practices now.

--(about Nathan Beaulieu's crosscheck on Zac Rinaldo)  Black and white, it was a crosscheck to his head.

And I couldn’t be more proud of Nate. Absolutely perfect circumstance for that.

Why Claude Julien had that goon Rinaldo out on the ice at that time of the game, that’s the real scandal here. Nate did the sane thing.

“Here, eat Sher-Wood, scumbag.”

I’ve been driven to this by the NHL, but I really, really liked the sneer he had immediately after, and as he jawed with the rest of the Bruins bench on his way off the ice. No pretending, no dishonesty.

“Yeah, I did it, what of it? I’d do it again if I had to. Gimme your toothless penalty and whatever, what do I care.”

--I don’t have a lot of time for Mario Tremblay since his DUI trial and his comments to the police officer were released, but he nails it here:

“Si Beaulieu avait fait ça à un joueur de hockey, j’aurait dit que Nathan a levé (perdu) la tête, mais avec un gars comme Rinaldo qui vient pour le blesser, …”

Mathieu Darche: “Si il fait ça à Patrice Bergeron, ç’t’une autre affaire…”

Mario: “D’accord avec toi.”


Mario: “If Beaulieu does that to a hockey player, I’d say Nathan lost his head, lost his cool there, but with a guy like Rinaldo who’s coming in to hurt him, …”

Mathieu Darche: “If he does that to Patrice Bergeron, that’s a different story…”

Mario: “Of course.”

--The NHL is so awful, they don’t know what they want, what they’re trying to achieve. They think they want more offence, more scoring, so they fudged the rules a little bit in terms of allowing goals in off skates, in scrums, allowing the play to ‘develop’.

So they want goals, no matter how, but when Gally is in the crease, as he’s allowed to be according to their own rules, then gets pushed into the goalie by a defender, and it has no influence on whether the goal would have been saved, somehow that gets overturned.

If the NHL wants more goals, all they have to do is prevent all the obstruction, the crosschecking that is endemic. Anybody that’s in arm’s reach in the NHL is fair game for a crosscheck to the back or arm or shoulder. That’s viewed as ‘playing tight’, as defending. Give the slowpokes like Adam McQuaid the obligation to actually skate, to wrestle the puck away rather than just whale on Tomas Plekanec, and all of a sudden he flushes out of the league, for a Yannic Weber or Marc-André Bergeron, who can actually skate and play hockey.

If they want goalies to not be interfered with, they can adopt the international rule, which is that when an attacking player treads onto the goalie crease without the puck, play is whistled dead and the faceoff is outside the zone. Problem solved. No player on offence gets into the crease for fear of negating a scoring chance.

Then, call the defenceman for obstruction if they push Gally into the goalie. He’s outside the crease, allowed to be there, use your frigging whistle when he gets mugged by Dion Phaneuf.

Enough with the wishy-washy “We want more goals so we’ll allow scrummy goals but not too scrummy…”, clean up the game instead. Keep players out of the crease. But allow Alex Galchenyuk to wow us with his moves without having to endure crosschecks and slashes all game. Those are fouls. They’re cheating. They favour the untalented, the goon, over the skilled, the spectacular player. That’s how Zac Rinaldo stays in the game, why the Bruins actually traded for this felon.

Give us spectacular goals by spectacular players, not scrummy goals by scummy players.

--I can’t wait for all the links to all the Boston papers tomorrow. That’ll be some delicious schadenfreude with our waffles.

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