Thursday, January 5, 2012

Is Torts Right?

1) Fiery NY Rangers head coach didn't beat around the bush about how he felt about the officiating after the Winter Classic. In his words it was "disgusting". Now usually its the losing coach that blames the officiating for helping defeat his team, but in this case its the WINNING coach making the claims that perhaps there was some kind of maleficence going on to try to keep the game close. Saying, "I thought the game was reffed horribly,"....I'm not sure what happened there. Maybe they wanted to get it to overtime. I'm not sure if they have meetings about that or what...That third period It was disgusting."

2) So did Tortorella have a beef here? In our opinion its yes and no. Certainly the penalty shot awarded Philly in the waning moments of the game appeared to be justified, as the Ranger player clearly covered the puck inside the crease preventing the Flyers from stuffing the puck into the net. Actually it was a great play. However preceding that there were two questionable calls that Tortorella probably was also seething about. One was the "pitch forking" of Rangers super star Marion Gaborik which was not called and then moments later Ryan Callahan was called for a very questionable call for "holding the stick". It was probably those 2 calls/non-call that set off Torts.

3) OK, he later took back his comments, but in the heat of the moment he may have stumbled upon something that each and everyone of us fans already suspected; that the officials alter the way they call the game based upon circumstance. No, its not what Tortorella initially insinuated (sarcastically or otherwise) that the league, and NBC discussed with the officials on how to keep the game close/exciting. We do NOT believe in that 'Conspiracy Theory' nonsense. However there is NO doubt that referees do not call the games the same from start to finish. We called around to various folks we know within the league and with no exceptions (as long as they weren't going to be 'on the record') and all said its been long understood that if a team is leading they were MORE likely to be assessed the next power play. Additionally they also said it seems that refs try to keep the number of PP's awarded as even as possible, even if the play didn't dictate it. The league absolutely HATES when the officials, and by extension/insinuation the integrity of the game is questioned. Which explains the huge fine ($300,000) Tortorella recieved even after following his mia-culpa yesterday. The NHL simply couldn't be silent when a winnig coach with credibility questions in such a public forum the integrity of its officials. John should know better.

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