Welcome to our first edition of Blog Wars, in which we pit our Vancouver Canucks blogger, Harrison Mooney of Pass It To Bulis against Boston Bruins blogger, Jon Fucile of Days of Y’Orr. The two blogs will debate the fine points of each game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Vancouver Sun: There were several questionable calls last night. The goal may or may not have been offside. Burrows may or may not have bit down on Bergeron’s fingers. What was your view of the debateable action in Game One?
Mooney: It always amazes me when a game with this many calls winds up handing out the exact same number of penalties to both sides. Some will argue that this proves the game was evenly called — I would argue it proves the refs are more concerned with math than blowing the whistle at the right time. Some of the penalties, such as the high-sticks on Zdeno Chara that Daniel Sedin and Kevin Bieksa must have climbed beanstalks to commit, were no-brainers. The crosscheck on David Krejci and the trip on Alex Burrows, however, were, well, brainers. That’s a problem.
Speaking of Alex Burrows, he allegedly bit Patrice Bergeron. I use the word allegedly because I’m a Canucks fan. He bit him.
You’re not supposed to bite, although they must not teach that in Pincourt kindergartens, but Patrice Bergeron needs to pay attention during scouting reports. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that putting your finger in Alex Burrows’s mouth is the on-ice equivalent of noodling, the practice of sticking your arm into a catfish hole. You’re gonna get bit. If Burrows gets a slap on the wrist for his stupidity, Bergeron should get a slap to the face for his.
Fucile: The entire playoffs, every single series, has been really poorly officiated in our humble opinion. Some nights it seems like the refs are getting paid by the call and nothing makes sense. The whole notion of the refs feeling obligated to call the same amount of penalties or make calls to make up for an earlier missed call or wrong call just makes games seem overly controlled by the refs.
I’d love to see the refs do more of what they did in Game 7 of the Bruins-Lightning series. Just let the teams play unless you feel the game is getting out of hand. If there are blatant cheap shots or too many after the whistle liberties then call it but teams should be allowed to play but the refs make calls so inconsistently that it seems like not even the players have a grasp on what is a penalty and what is not.
If we had it our way, we’d have the refs stop calling penalties against the Canucks all together. We love our dear Bruins but we are baffled as to how the powerplay can possibly suck that much.
For the offsides, there was no angle that we saw that definitively said yes or no. Really it doesn’t matter. The Bruins had several opportunties, including that long 5 on 3, to get something going offensively and failed. It never should have come down to that goal anyway. Blaming the potential offsides would just be loser talk.
And Burrows totally bit Bergeron. Not even a question in our mind. We’re not upset Burrows wasn’t suspended. Whatever, lets the teams play don’t let suspensions potentially decide a game. Burrows is an ass clown and a coward for biting but whatever. We don’t agree with the large group of people saying that if you put your hand in someone’s face you deserve to get bit. That is assinine. Players face wash each other all the time. Real players don’t bite. As for the NHL’s ruling that it was inconclusive, check the videos you fools. There is one video that clearly shows Burrows grabbing and holding Bergeron’s hand and then biting.
Mooney: This might be the nicest back and forth you’ll ever see — I agree with most of this. I do, however, take exception to a few things:
1. On whether “Burrows is an ass clown and a coward”, that statement is only half true. Bitey assclown? Yes. Coward? No. What, exactly, is the braver option when your opponent has a finger in your throat? Trim the nail?
2. Unlike Boston fans, who recognize their team’s powerplay makes baby Jesus cry, I don’t want the refs to put their whistles away. I want them to do their jobs by managing games rather than deciding them. Make good calls. Don’t make bad calls. Of course, there’s a margin for error here, we’ve drifted far beyond that in these playoffs, into what one might called The Inane Zone. In the inane zone, if Tim Thomas initiates contact with you at the blue line, you’re going to the box.
And on that powerplay, why, exactly, would you put Zdeno Chara in front of the net? He has the hardest shot in the league. Using Zdeno Chara as your net presence is like hosting a track meet underwater.
Fucile: Maybe we should start hurling fake insults or something. I’m going to take your mother out for a nice seafood dinner and then NEVER call her again. Maybe.
1. I guess when it comes to Burrows (and not Burrows specifically but players that tend to be like him) is that we don’t like a player who will start something and then wait until two refs are between him and the other guy to act tough, which we feel Burrows does a lot of. He’s not on the PK Subban level of this but we’re firm believers in finishing what you started. Then again… that is Burrows job. And he has obviously done his job if we dislike him so much.
2. I agree to an extent. I feel like the refs influenced waaaaaaaaaay too much on both sides. If you’re going to call something against one team, call it against the other team as well or don’t call it at all. Players should decide games, not the refs. Often I feel like he refs are just on a power trip. It is crazy. I’m not saying refs should ignore every call and just let people play all game long… but why call a borderline tripping call and then not call an obvious cross check. We understand that not every real penalty is going to get called either. There is a lot of action and refs can’t see everything. Inconsistency stems from the top though and we all know the NHL doesn’t even know the meaning of consistent.
3. We kind of like Chara in front of the net because he is one of like two Bruins that seems to understand that screening the opposing goalie is a good thing. We love Chara’s hard shot but when he hangs out at the blueline the B’s powerplay becomes even more predictable. Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, Chara one timer, pass, pass. Rinse. Repeat. We’ve noticed that opposing teams don’t respect Chara’s shot anymore in the sense that they know that is all the Bruins are going for. They’re trying to open lanes and get the puck to Chara for a shot. But since this has become so predictable and opposing teams know that most Bruins are apparently REALLY afraid to shoot… they don’t move and no lanes open for Chara’s blistering shot. If guys like Krejci, Bergeron, Lucic and Horton started firing more on the PP maybe other teams would start moving around more. But right now it seems like teams just stop moving, clog lanes and let their goalie just get a great view of the shot on the rare occasions the B’s take it. We’re kind of hoping Chara just starts taking the shot again anyway even if no lanes are open. If a player gets hit by a Chara slap shot once or twice chances are they’ll start to move a little when he winds up.
Side note: As a B’s fan, didn’t really see the problem with the Hamhuis hit. Keep your head up Lucic. Keep your head up.
Mooney: I don’t think even Lucic could have had a problem with the Hamhuis hit. Did you see the way Hamhuis helped him to fully rotate once he was in the air? He’s such a good guy.
I still think the predictability of Chara’s shot trumps the nonthreatening nature of Kaberle’s. Seriously, when Kaberle winds up, all six Canucks blow the zone. Seriously. All six.
Fucile: Does Kaberle still play for the Bruins? That is news to me.
Tags: Boston Bruins, featured, Vancouver Canucks