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01 November 2007

To dive or not to dive? That is the question.

I am going to start off this blog with stating that I am not placing last night's 4-2 loss on the refs. The Canes should have taken advantage in the 1st period and been up more than 1-0 going into the 3rd. They were slow on their feet for much of the 2nd and 3rd period, but in all fairness were still playing ahead of the Panthers until the middle of the 3rd.
With that said...

I am completely appalled with the things the Hurricanes were faced with in Southern Florida last night. I knew it was going to be a bad night when I tuned into "Hurricanes Live" and John Forslund and Tripp Tracy begin the night talking about the Florida papers. They show at least three articles that all read pretty much the same thing: "Carolina's diving act isn't easily forgotten"
By the way, the "diving act" they are talking about refers to the 'Canes going 7-1-0 against the Panthers last year and how they think we dove to get our wins. (Funny, because last year our PP was ranked on of the lowest in the league and we pretty much would have rather gone short handed than have to watch the mess that was our power play.) The best was one famous night where Eric Staal was tripped and because Ed Belfour thought he embellished, he put on a little show....seen here:

All of that nonsense aside, I found it humorous that they were calling us divers when Olli Jokinen was the only player to get a diving penalty before the two called on us last night. I don't find it classy at all to publish such things in a newspaper, when they don't even have any ground to stand on. Perhaps if they posted more things about their team, instead of trying to put down the Canes they would have had an attendance of more than 10,000 (although a friend who was there for the game last night said she would have put the attendance more at 3,000 tops)
You didn't see an article here in NC about Jokinen and his comments last year to run this team down and if injuries were necessary for the win, so be it. Instead you saw that Jokinen and Vokoun both play really well against us and generally just positive things.

As much as I didn't like that article, I would have never guess the refs would let media influence the way they make calls. Going into the 3rd up 1-0, we knew that we couldn't just sit on a lead of one if we wanted the two points. There was a battle for the puck along the boards and you see Jokinen nail LaRose into the boards. They say a penalty is being called and I thought it was obviously a Florida penalty...until I see LaRose yelling at the refs and head over to the box. I was REALLY confused at that point until I hear the words "2 minutes for diving"
Let me give you some stats real quick so you can understand this:
Chad LaRose is 5'9 and weighs 185 lbs. Fourth line guy, lots of energy, our "gnat"
Olli Jokinen is 6'3 and weighs 214 lbs. I am not sure what line he plays, because I saw him play with like 3 different ones last night, but he pretty much IS the team.

So LaRose got pushed from behind, fell down, and that is diving? I am surprised they even issued Jokinen a penalty at all! If anyone can explain that to me feel free to email me! That penalty is killed off.
Jokinen scores 7 minutes in. Then Erik Cole scores on a beautiful pass from Staal to make the game 2-1.

Not even 2 minutes after that, we see a play where Justin Williams checks Horton who falls over easily. (no penalty given on that one though!) Williams begins to skate away and Horton pushes himself up enough to grab around his legs (pretty much something you see in football) Williams falls over seeing as he can't move his legs.

Penalty called. Horton 2 minutes for holding. Oh wait. Big surprise here. Williams 2 minutes for diving. How is it diving when he is TACKLED?!?!! Someone, anyone PLEASE explain this to me!!!
Canes are scored on during that 4 on 4. 2-2 game.

5 minutes left and the refs called Staal for holding. I didn't see it, but okay Staal was "holding". Not a problem. Before that penalty expires Williams gets another call delay of game this time.
5 on 3, and Zednik scores no problem 3-2. THEN as the Staal penalty expires there is a rush from the Panthers and Wesley our veteran Dman throws himself down to try and stop the breakaway. Penalty for slashing. Another 5 on 3.
In a moment of desperation Cam Ward comes way out of the crease to try and poke check the puck so maybe the Canes can get a shorthanded rush. Unfortunately for him this was not our night and Horton went right around him and scored on an empty net. Final score 4-2.

Brad Watson, who was the ref who made both of the diving calls needs a strong review. He doesn't even have the excuse that he is a new ref for why he made those calls and even the Florida announcers were perplexed with where the dives were exactly. NHL: PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE OFFICIATING. And I am not even talking just about last night. I have watch some of the worst officiating I have seen in this early season.

I will leave you with Erik Cole's insights on the game last night (from the News and Observer) and why there were the two diving calls and pretty much mocking the virtually empty arena:
"An intimidating building like this? You're going to get those calls at home"

Until next time....

4 fanatics have replied:

Chrissy said...

I think that you are exactly right about everything. I also feel that the NHL needs to take a look at these officials. Its not just on Carolina, the officials just seem to be making up random penalty's on everyone.

JD FLYGUY said...

I've definitely seen a good amount of games this season where the officiating has ended up deciding the game. If that's what this league is coming to, I don't know how I'm gonna be able to watch it transpire. Can you say: "Radio time"?? Screw you VS. and your gosh-be-darned ratings. Leave and take the refs with you.

JD FLYGUY said...

OOoops!! I called them "refs." They're "officials." Although I don't feel that bad...neither occupational member does a good job.

Katy said...

The 'Canes are having the league review the two calls. We will see what happens with that. All I have to say is that the Panthers better watch out tomorrow because every time the Canes have lost, they have had a complete blowout the next time they play. (Lost in WSH 2-0, next game was won against TOR 7-1. Lost to MTL 7-4, then beat NYI 8-3)

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