Normally, I try not to complain about officiating when a team I’m pulling for loses. Tonight I’ll make an exception, as I’m still nauseous over the horrible display of officiating that cost the Blue Jackets a point.
It is not fanaticism to notice that the officials were clearly in Minnesota’s pocket tonight. The Wild were allowed to commit penalties at will, while Columbus was forced into eleven (!) penalty kills. Hooks, tackles, interference, etc. all happened within inches of referee Tom Kowal, who kept his hands in his pockets, rolled his eyes, and whistled dixie.
And this isn’t just my opinion; I have never seen Rims or Gare (FSN Ohio broadcasters) litterally speechless.
You know, if the Jackets are going to the sin bin anyway, and if they’re going to lose no matter what, they might as well put enforcers like Shelly to work. Boorgaard especially needs a dose of humble pie. Chickening out of a scrap with Shelly, then skating far away from the C-bus bench and turning and taunting them is just pathetic.
“As long as Kowal’s the ref, I can do what I please.”
The icing on the cake was the OT goal given to the Wild. In case you’re just catching up: Minnesota center Wes Walz charged the net, a puck came flying in, got caught in his pants (we think!), and he skated across the goal line. The red light went off, but the goal was quickly, and correctly, waved off. (It’s against the rules to advance the puck across the goal line in your pants. This is what I call the “David-Copperfield-doesn’t-play-NHL-hockey” rule.) Furthermore, video replays simply showed the puck disappear. I mean, it simply disappeared. There was no way to know where the puck was, if it crossed the line, etc.
Now remember, you can’t wave a goal off and then have it count later. Especially when there is no conclusive evidence to the contrary. Especially especially if a player carries it across the goal line in his equipment.
Think that mattered to Toronto? Nope. After a ten minute conversation with the war room, when Kowal no doubt chatted about his desire to give the Wild two points, or his “stupid” contact lens prescription, or his hatred of the Jackets, Toronto agreed to let him give the Wild the goal anyway.
Again, the Jackets are battling for that eighth seed. Every point counts. I suppose this is righteous indignation for a team that just can’t catch a break.
Silver-lining wise (I guess I always have something positive to say), Zherdev showed more improvement tonight than we’ve seen from him in the past month. Nash again continues to make PKs a dangerous time for the opposition. If the Jackets aren’t going to the playoffs, lets hope they make the west central miserable for everyone in the meantime.