Somebody other than Ducks fans actually noticed this? It's about time.
Ducks again running afoul of referees
February 22nd, 2009, 9:05 am · Post a Comment · posted by Dan Wood, Staff writer
As widely respected hockey journalist Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated reported earlier this month, the Ducks requested and received a Feb. 3 meeting with Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, to try to better understand their ongoing propensity for repeated trips to the penalty box.
Over the next six games, power-play chances for the Ducks and their opponents were relatively even. The Ducks enjoyed 23 man-advantage opportunities, to 25 for the opposition, with the Ducks having the edge in two games, the opponent having the edge in two and two being even.
That trend changed dramatically in Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings and Saturday’s 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After the Ducks gained the first power play, and scored on it, in Detroit, the Red Wings received the next five, capitalizing twice to help seize a 4-1 lead. In the third period, long after the issue had been decided, the Ducks had three power-play chances, making the final count 5-4 in favor of Detroit but doing nothing to even up the impact of the earlier calls.
The Ducks received two of the first three power-play opportunities in Columbus, scoring on the first, but the remaining seven in the game went to the Blue Jackets. It’s astounding, really, how any NHL team could get seven consecutive power-play chances against any other NHL team. Action just isn’t that one-sided.
“We could argue those points until we’re blue in the face because we have ample video to show there are things that are happening, but this is not the time or the place to do that,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said after the game in Columbus.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Ducks typically commit more penalties than their opposition, many of them less-than-intelligent infractions, to say the least. It is also becoming increasingly obvious, however, that past deeds continue to haunt the Ducks because referees, subconsciously or not, take the team’s reputation into account when making calls.
An incident early in the second period Saturday was particularly difficult to understand. Ducks right wing Corey Perry and Blue Jackets left wing Kristian Huselius took seemingly equal shots at each other, but somehow Perry wound up with a double-minor and Huselius merely two minutes, putting Columbus on the power play.
“Four minutes for roughing?” Perry asked. “I have no idea. I really don’t.”
Neither do any of the rest of the Ducks, but they won’t say anything publicly for fear of fines or other league-imposed discipline.
The NHL, meanwhile, will never discuss such matters — just as the league wouldn’t discuss what was the difference between Perry receiving a four-game suspension for elbowing Philadelphia Flyers rookie Claude Giroux in January, and Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf receiving no punishment for an elbow to the head of Ducks rookie center Andrew Ebbett in February.
No one but the Ducks, of course, cares about any of this, but any objective observer can’t help but wonder exactly what in the name of Officer Koharski is going on here.
http://ducks. freedomblogging. com/2009/02/22/ducks-again-running-afoul-of-referees/7239/