Mike Gillis looked calm, cool, and collected while he spoke to the media yesterday, but his words belied his Freeze-ian exterior. Like Howard Beale, Gillis is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. This is, of course, the Mike Gillis version of “mad as hell” that takes the form of a list of statistics rather than an impassioned diatribe. Clearly, Gillis could use a speech writer and some acting lessons (perhaps from Scott Rintoul).
Gillis, in his patented monotone, harangued the reffing in the series, pointing out the discrepancy between the penalty calls for and against the Canucks, particularly in the last four games. He even highlighted some particularly egregious missed calls and lambasted the officials for their inconsistency. Is he right? Does it matter?
Effectively, Gillis is attempting to change the story that is being told by the fans and media. It’s a classic distraction technique designed to make sure that the articles being written and therefore the questions being asked of his team are focussed more in the direction of the reffing and whether they agree with their GM, rather than on their performance. Instead of focusing on the Sedins’ defensive deficiencies, Ryan Kesler’s lack of scoring, or Roberto Luongo’s mental health, the media and thereby the fans can focus on the officiating and whether Mike Gillis is completely out of his gourd or not.
Cam Cole has even suggested that Gillis is simply stoking the fire of the fanbase and he may be correct. The crowd in Rogers Arena tonight will likely be full of energy to start the game, but it will be nervous energy, rather than pure, unadulterated raucousness. At the first sign of trouble, such as a Blackhawk powerplay, that nervous energy could turn ugly. Or, because of the primer applied by Gillis, it could turn into comparisons between the consistency of the officiating and the consistency of cow dung.
In any case, Gillis has been at least partially successful at deflecting attention from his team and onto himself. After all, I’m writing this post, Cam Cole wrote his morning article, and Ian Walker chipped in his take, and that’s just the Vancouver Sun.
For a full transcript of yesterday’s Gillis diatribe, click here.Tags: Canucks, featured, I don't like criticizing the refs, It's Possible Gillis is Smarter Than Us, Mike Gillis, playoffs