Yesterday, the NHL's senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, issued this statement in regards to Daniel Briere's blown off-sides call in the Flyers 4 - 3 OT win over Pittsburgh --
Funny. No mention of how Dupuis scored Pittsburgh's third goal of the first period off of a non-called icing penalty, which (at the time) credits the Penguins a three goal lead over Philadelphia. A deficit that deep on the scoreboard may have been the finishing move on the Flyers' chances of sparking any comeback. It could have buried any lesser team.
Luckily for us Flyers fans, that was obviously not the case.
But nevertheless, Mr. Campbell is evasively insinuating that because of a linesman's incompetence, Pittsburgh was stripped of their custody over the contest's tempo.
And again, never any mention of Pittsburgh's icing in the final minutes of the opening frame.
What am I getting at?
Well, I am not trying to strengthen any conspiracy theory that the League and its big wigs are doing everything in their power to make sure Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburgh Fowls advance forward in the Playoffs.
I won't give them that much credit.
Because if that were the case, it'd mean they had the brain power to formulate such a vindictive campaign.
However, what I will allude to is that figureheads -- like Colin Campbell in the NHL's castle -- notice and value the type of advertising, revenue and acclamation the Penguins can generate because of....certain players.
In fact, Game 1 of the Penguins & Flyers QuarterFinals achieved Most-Watched Opening Night Playoff Game in Net's History & Best Opener in a Decade ~ source
Business is business, and the NHL is a business. It needs to continue making money. Like any other business, the Benjamins are its lifeblood. And though I agree the officiating missed Briere's blatant off-sides, I believe it is incredibly unprofessional (and unbusiness-like) of Campbell to give prominence to a blown Philadelphia infraction and NOT what happened against Philadelphia just a stanza before.
And it certainly doesn't help the NHL's policing of its players and coaches who decide to lash out about their on-ice administrators.
Remember back to this season's Winter Classic?
New York Rangers bench boss John Tortorella went off in a post-game press conference (no surprise there) about the officiating in the new-found seasonal tradition --
Torts was fined $30,000.00 for his words against the system that feeds him and his family.
Immediately following the NHL's decision to fine Tortorella, Colin Campbell issued this statement --
Though Campbell's assertion on Briere's off-sides wasn't nearly as brazenfaced as John's after the Winter Classic, it absolutely, no doubt, challenges the integrity of these League officials.
And MORE SO, if you ask me.
Tortorella is known for acting like a smacked ass in front of the camera. What he says on recording equipment is generally taken with a side of salt. But Mr. Campbell, being the League aristocrat that he is, comes off as an incredible hypocrite, and brings the NHL down with him.
Now, if I may use a much more current example (and the main influence behind this article's creation); In last night's Game 1 between the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks, 'Yotes forward Taylor Pyatt capitalized on a scoring chance inside Chicago's zone --
What an incredible effort keeping the puck behind Chicago's blue line. But anyways...
The controversy here is that the Coyotes clearly had too many men on the ice at one time. As they were getting fresh legs on the next shift, there were six Phoenix skaters on the frozen pond.
Play should have immediately been blown dead, thus eliminating the Coyotes' chance before the goal was scored. But it wasn't.
Another missed call by the NHL's employed referees.
This Pyatt goal added to the final 3 - 2 Phoenix victory. Without that goal, the Hawks would have won in regulation. The game would have never gone to overtime with a 2 - 2 score.
At least, according to the logic of Colin Campbell.
Danny Briere capitalized on his breakaway after cheating over the blue line. Pyatt capitalized on his wrister after a too-many-men call was missed right in front of a linesman in last night's Phoenix win.
Both Clubs are up on their adversaries 1-game to none in their QuarterFinals series. Both Clubs have a controversial goal which -- without it -- would never had given them the opportunity to win had the correct call was made on the ice.
The only difference between Phoenix's circumstance and Philadelphia's circumstance is that Philadelphia's opponent also capitalized on a non-call. And according to the logic at hand, Philadelphia would have won Game 1 by a 3 - 2 decision in regulation. But you won't hear a damn thing from that puppet Campbell about that. You won't hear Campbell issue a statement about Pyatt's goal following a too-many-men infraction.
Because the Blackhawks don't have a flightless fowl as their crest stitched on their sweaters. It never happened against Pittsburgh, so why even bother acknowledging it?
Professional hockey games are not played in a vacuum. There are thousands of tangible and intangible variables that can influence the game's pulse at once. So I won't even pretend to believe Briere's blown off-sides call is what lost the Penguins the match.
And neither will the Pens head coach --
Good man. I wish his fans shared the same sentiment.
So, should I hold my breath for Campbell's issued statement regarding the blown call in Glendale, AZ?
Only if I want to do my best impression of David Carradine.
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