Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just let 'em play ref ...

Update: 24-SEP PM: I've changed the video source as the first was removed, and updated the times accordingly in relation to the new video.

Well then ... where to begin.

For those who did not see the PRESEASON hockey game between Buffalo and Toronto, here it is.

Check out the whole clip as it is instructional on many levels.

Now, to understand why this one happened, you need to go back to that Sabre's 4th goal by Tropp (a goal scorer) and Toronto sending Devane (a goon) to send a message. It winds up with Tropp getting the crap beat out of him, and slamming his head on the ice and lying there stunned in a pool of his own blood.

So it is right about this time that MEGA GOON John Scott gets a nod from the Sabre's bench and lines up albeit for a second with Phil Kessel (a goal scorer) and all heck breaks loose at 1:05 (now 1:40) in the video.

Now everyone saw this coming as within 5 seconds, (2) Leafs and (3) officials (a referee and (2) linesmen) were right in there trying to IMMEDIATELY break up what happened to avoid any further issues.

As soon as it was clear to both referees however that a brawl was imminent, both referees backed up and hemmed in the fights, as their assistants were hard at work saving Mr. Scott, or maybe saving everyone else from Mr. Scott.

Look at 1:17 (now 1:50) of the video, both referees had the whole mess pinned in and were able to observe the whole thing ... including the Leafs David Clarkson jumping in from the bench.

Now the fracas continued for some time and carried over to the Leafs bench, with Tim Nowak (#77) expertly keeping Scott from anyone else. I have to say too that Scott, while a goon, has my respect as he is there to play a role and does it well. He also is not there to give the referee any crap as we can see at 3:43 (now 4:19) when he gives Tim a couple of pats on the back to say, I'm done, no problem here.

This is more respect than I am giving Kessel not only for the cowardly chops initially with Scott's back turned but also at 3:10 (now 3:45) when he makes his way back over and gives Scott a poke. I would have actually liked Nowak to let him go for a second to grab Kessel. Would have served him right. (Just for the record that is not a Bruins thing, just hate cheap play like that.)

So, if everyone knew this was coming, why let it even happen?

My answer is because they had to let them play.

There was no legitimate reason to send a player before the fight. There is no reason why both can't line up for the face-off, even if they knew it was coming. The officials very simply had to let them play, until the moment the trouble began.

This is a very difficult position when you can anticipate as a referee that something is coming, but you can't do anything about it, until it does.

To somehow contort the LOTG or fabricate an excuse to dismiss a player as much as it may save a significant issue, is not the right or correct thing to do for anyone, or the game. It's dishonest, and prejudicial.

By the way ... I know what I'm doing on November 15th and 16th when these guys meet again.

Here's a question for us ... how do THOSE referees come into THAT game?

Is that prejudicial or good management?

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