Tuesday, 6 March 2012

You Better Duck Oilers, Refs Have Your Number!

The Oilers doth protest too much.

It appears our young Oilers are a long way from garnering any sympathy from NHL's best. By best I mean the men dressed like zebras. When it comes to officiating, one must earn the respect before they reap the rewards. Surprisingly Joanne Ireland recently wrote a piece about the Oilers venting at the officials. Ireland's article was published interesting enough before the game between Edmonton and the Dallas Stars. Going into the game the Stars were the second most penalized team in the league. That night for the first time this year, the Dallas Stars did not take one single penalty. Just goes to show you that zebra's literacy scope goes further than reading comics.

Everyone who has ever played hockey knows that venting at the officials will accomplish nothing. Hockey is an emotional sport; in the heat of the moment the refs are known to receive unwarranted abuse. It's a tough job and a lonely one as well. But heated discussions between players and officials is part of the game. The officials are supposed to be unbiased professionals who have no stake in the result of the game. Unfortunately this isn't always the case.

The National Hockey League is very much a "big boys club." You will find this among management, players and the officials. You have to put in the time before they give you the keys. In the eyes of the official, the more games you have played, the more favours we shall grant. No player has held that key longer than Ducks star Teemu Selanne. It was laughable how infuriated Selanne was when the refs called him for tripping with three minutes left in the game between the Ducks and Oilers. Teemu knew it was a penalty, he had no stick in his hand as evidence. He was upset over the defilement of the sanctity of his club.

The inconsistencies of officiating in the NHL will always exist, it's an unfortunate fact of hockey. What is unacceptable the echelon society that exists between players and refs. A penalty is a penalty, it shouldn't matter which player incurred or received the infraction.

Brighter days are just ahead for the Oilers. Our young stars will get better and the injury bug will be cured. But understanding the refs, well that is a mystery in itself. It's just a simple fact of the NHL!

Oops! I forgot, the Oilers lost 4 - 2 to the Ducks.


  1. Spencer said that the Oilers shouldn't complain because that what Canucks fans did/do and we shouldn't follow suit. However if the media shows blatant misses penalties or one sided reffing then who is going to be accountable? Should another player get injured before a call is made? If the penalties are not being called more fighting will ensue. Is that the plan for NHL?

  2. It's one thing to always be complaining about not getting penalties called but when a team goes multiple games with questionable officiating the league needs to take notice.

  3. And who is going to notice and when? GN

  4. That's the problem and an unfortunate truth about the NHL! Out of all the major pro sports, the NHL officiating is the most inconsistent and least accountable.

    I don't see this changing in my lifetime!