For the second straight game, the National Hockey League has decided to throw rule enforcement out. For the second straight game, Gary Bettman's threat of rule enforcement rang hollow.
Hey, at least I'm consistent in talking about the problem plaguing the Conference Quarterfinals. You can't get something like that (consistency) from NHL officials.
I know I should be talking about the game downright slaughter on ice tonight. I'm bitter though. Not just bitter at the loss, but bitter at the sham of first period, where referees had no control of the game and seemed grudgingly to try to get control when chaos and anarchy ensued.
Oh wait, it gets better!
Kerry and the boys got bored in the 2nd period and decide to start messing with things some more by not doing anything. Lets start with Ryan Craig taking a puck in the face from an errant pass. A player goes down after a puck in the face -- you have the potential of a devastating injury and what is the deal? Play continues.
That's right, play continues. No whistle. No nothing. Watch the replays and you see Zedeno Chara standing behind Craig as if the play is dead... It's after a moment things haven't been stopped that he finally gets going again.
And then there is the case of Ruslan Fedotenko and Chris Neil. Rusty play the puck close to Ray Emery, there is a good bit of traffic in front of the net and some contact because of it. Typical defense of your goaltender by the Senators players in front of the net... Well, except Chris Neil.
Neil isn't exactly in front of the net. He's close by and when he sees contact, he charges in on Fedotenko, shoving Fedotenko into Ray Emery. All hell breaks loose from that point on...
With Neil only pulling in 2 minutes for the charge. This is after he threatened Sean Burke with retaliation for Ruslan "running" Emery. This comes after Neil flicks off fans.
I'm bitter that the Lightning lost, that we got downright schooled by the Senators... But I'm sick and f'n tired of the antics of the "officials" who are supposed to maintain order on ice. Kerry Fraser and his team aren't maintaining shit. They're making the crew from game 2 look like sticklers for the rules -- and that's saying something!
Look, the outcome of the game would be different if the rules were actually followed. It'd be a hockey game and not this farce that was supposed to resemble hockey.
The Sens might kill us worse in a regulation game where order was maintained by the officials… I really wouldn't mind that (that’s right, I wouldn’t mind it) in part because the game would have proper enforcement of the rules. The better team would truly win and assclowns like Chris Neil wouldn’t be a factor. The skill of Martin Havlat would be the focus and further accentuated, or Dany Heatly’s machismo, Martin St. Louis’ deftness or Brad Richards total game. In other words - the players and their performance would be the focus, as it's supposed to be.
Instead, the officials are doing what they always do and grabbing the spotlight by trying not to do anything.
Game 4 is Thursday. Don't be surprised when Kerry makes sure more of the same bullshit is the norm for that one.