Hockey is an emotional game. Fans are emotional, coaches are at times emotional, and players will often show signs of emotion. Emotions come from different sources during a hockey game, whether it be from a big hit, a fight, a big save, a big goal… or even after a penalty call.
During the game against the Anaheim Ducks, while his team was putting tons of pressure trying to tie the game at two a piece in the last minute of the third period, Andrew Shaw was given a penalty for hooking… and he wasn’t pleased about it. After viewing the replay from the penalty box, Shaw smashed his stick against the glass, then broke it on his knee while making sure to have a few choice words for the referee… which cost him a misconduct.
If you haven’t seen the play in question, here it is:
Yes, Shaw’s penalty cost the Canadiens a chance to even up the score in hope to send the game to overtime. Whether it should have been called a penalty or not is up for debate, which is certainly not the purpose of this article. The penalty was called and that in itself is what cost the Canadiens a chance to get at least one point.That’s how the cookie crumbles.
But some “fans”, frustrated with the fact that the team is having such a good start and looking for things to complain about, are raging on Shaw for his reaction in the penalty box. Why might you ask? No one really knows, unless they are looking for fleas where there are none.
Really folks? Do we need to go back in time when one of the best leaders in the NHL showed emotion in the penalty box? Remember Doug Gilmour?
Shaw showed some emotions. He did that spontaneously, because he cares! He cares that this call, at that particular time, is what the referee decided to call when both let others pass all game which were more obvious than this one! You see, what players, coaches and fans cannot stand is the lack of consistency not only throughout a season, but during a game.
Give me a team of players who care well ahead of players who will accept losing.
Two referee system not working
It’s been said time and time again, but this two referee system is not working. Not only do you add one more body on the ice where space is already hard to find, but you involve a second judgement in there for penalties. How many times do we see the referee closest to the action choosing to let a play go and the far referee, from almost centre ice, raise his arm to make a call on that same play?
When you only had one referee, yes some calls were being missed but you can’t convince me that calls aren’t being missed today with the two men on the ice. However with the one referee system, players knew what to expect. They knew the referees, what they liked to call and what they would let them get away with. It was rather even on both side. No second guessing from another judgement out there.
The NHL needs to take a second look at this two referee system and find ways to get back to one referee on the ice. Linesmen can already blow the whistle to call a penalty when there are too many men on the ice, and get consulted when a defensive player shoots the puck in the crowd from his own zone. Perhaps adding a couple of penalties would help take some of the pressure off the referee but two guys with the red stripes simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for the players, it doesn’t work for the teams, and it certainly doesn’t work for the fans.