Dose of Reality #25

January 14, 2007

Dose of Reality

I don’t normally get into pissing contests with officials, but Rob Martell and Brad Meier really need to explain themselves better. To wave off a goal by Alexander Picard because of “incidental contact” from Picard was absolutely wrong. And to give them the benefit of the doubt, if they meant Geoff Platt was the alleged “incidental contactor”, they are still wrong. I watch game after game where Tomas Holmstrom decides to bypass the incidental part and goes right to the contact stuff. But when he does this, the NHL officials just laugh it off and say he is merely trying to gain position, which is his right.

That was a bad call last night. If Picard/Platt made contact, then give him a penalty. If it was incidental contact, then show me the standards used to define this despicable act and make sure it is called in all games against all teams and all players. The NHL should use the video of last night’s incidental contact and go to all the teams to show them what will be called each and every time they do such bad things. However, the NHL will probably say that it was just Columbus versus Nashville, after all, and the better team won, so forget it and go about your business. The goal was taken away from a nobody named Picard, the guy hasn’t even put one away in parts of two seasons, it wasn’t a big star like Nash or Fedorov, nobody is going lose out during contract negotiations. Anyway, that blowhard Doug MacLean isn’t going to do anything about it because he lost all of his goodwill in Columbus and he has to keep a low profile.

I do know that the NHL officials carry computers with them and they have an on-line conference the next day, schedule permitting. Video replay is used for both instructional purposes and performance evaluation. So when they meet and discuss this one, what will they say? “Mr. Martell, you need to re-consider your assessment of ‘incidental contact’”? Or, “Mr. Meier, next time your partner decides to make a call like that, you should speak up and suggest that he ask for video review to get his head out of his ass.”

I thought that Jeff Rimer and Danny Gare were calm and professional with their description of the issue, not using emotional language and keeping their voices down. Danny quietly read the explanation from the NHL and accepted it. You could easily tell that they were warned by the NHL to shut up and call the game or they would be fined. Good job guys, but maybe you should have spoken up last night and forced the NHL to explain itself. That would have been interesting.

– Truth Serum



  1. TS – I agree about the confusion… and the frustration over the inconsistency. One way or the other guys, just be consistent for cryin’ out loud.

    I am ignorant, though, about Rims and Gare. I didn’t know the NHL had any power over FOX analysts… do they work for the NHL? I had always assumed the broadcasting teams were similar to those in f-ball, b-ball, etc. Is the NHL different?

  2. The NHL has no “power” but since they are employees of the Jackets, they can be fined. The broadcasters at Versus, NHL on HD.NET, and CBC to name a few are independent of the NHL. But Rimer and Gare are CBJ employees along with the radio guys.

    The NHL has more power than you think. When Theo Fluery played for Chicago and was here for a game against Columbus, he received a penalty. When he went to the box, the Arena played a video of him sitting in the box with jail cell bars around him. As you remember, Theo has substance problems that also were legal problems. The NHL told Columbus not to use that kind of video with Fluery again.

  3. I was going to ask the same question about the FSN guys. Guess it’s already answered.

    Thanks for the heads up, Truth.

  4. If you accept that MacLean did not hire Hitchcock, the owners did ,then the bad no goal call meant that it was Hitchcock’s place to argue the call at the time through a captain, who was injured, which leaves you with a Vyborny who is a MacLean guy and, maybe not as passionate as Doug and not willing to go overboard on Hitchcocks’ watch. See the convoluted dynamics. With a player’s coach like Gallant there would have been at least the courtesy of an explanation and/or an apology. MacLean has run out of” Competitive Composure”.

  5. My point about the NHL is based upon the fact that the President of the team would have to file a protest, complaint, or response to the NHL. Hence my reason that the NHL can ignore MacLean.

    I must admit that I have no idea what kind of relationship Hitchcock has with NHL officials. I know that MacLean’s was not good, but he is not coaching the team and a referee is obligated to explain why a goal is disallowed. For all I know, Hitchcock may be unloved even more than MacLean.

    As for Vyborny, does he carry flashcards in his pocket so that he can communicate with officials? I know Modin was an A that game and his English is excellent. I believe, from what I observed and what was reported, the call was made and Martel and Meier were not going to entertain any plea for reconsideration.

    It was a poor call, one of several that have gone against the team this season. I attribute this to nothing more than bad luck and not a conspiracy. It is not as bad as the call in the San Jose game which was so wrong that the NHL scoring system could not accept the entries.

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