Although nobody likes a sore loser, apart from maybe physiotherapists, the armchair athletes of Team K&K nonetheless feel obliged to gripe for the sake of posterity about the egregious officiating in the Canucks recent first round exit from the playoffs.
The San Jose Sharks were given a total of 24 power play chances to the home team’s meagre 10 during the series, and it has to be said that more than just a few of Vancouver’s penalties were of the bogus variety, including the decisive one in sudden death of Game 4 for boarding handed to Daniel Sedin (of all people) after cleanly bumping shoulder-to-shoulder into Tommy Wingels.
For good measure, the refs handed him another penalty for “abusive language” when it was all over and he angrily called shenanigans.
While obviously the referees aren’t entirely to blame for the Canucks’ latest heart-breaking collapse, it sure often seemed like they didn’t want to risk doing anything that might displease the people in head office who pay their hefty salaries.
Let’s face it, the NHL is a multi-billion dollar business that has badly shot itself in the foot with the third lockout in less than 20 years. It’s a given that American teams advancing over Canadian squads is better for the self-sabotaged league’s bottom line considering that, in the U.S. market, easily as many people would rather, say, tune in to see NASCAR drivers turning left for hours on end or greased-up “professional wrestlers” pretending to fight each other than watch large, armoured men wearing knife-boots do actual battle on ice. They’re funny that way.
Here in Canada, video footage of a local team partying with Chris Brown, beating up taxi drivers or even hanging out at a Westboro Baptist Church rally could go viral and they would probably still be able to fill the home stands night after night.
The Sharks, who have to compete against four other, more profitable major league sports franchises all within the San Francisco Bay area, not so much.
(This post was first published in Kudos & Kvetches © Copyright (c) Vancouver Courier)