You've got to hand it to them. They needed a win, and team NHL found a way. I'm willing to bet that former Kelowna Rocket Vernon Fiddler didn't pay for a drink in their post-game celebrations. That, my friends is the bastard child of the NHL's inability to get dangerous hits out of the game: players taking dives and referees, terrified of being the ones who didn't make the call overreacting. Not only did Fiddler not do the right thing by jamming on the breaks rather than take the hit the way they teach you to, you would think he suffered a 3rd degree concussion with the way he flopped down there. It's garbage. Not saying that didn't hurt, but that was on him not Burrows. And like a good company man, he played it for all it was worth. You may remember when I wrote a column last season about the outrage following Augergate. The key to the whole thing was talking about the 'C' word. Not conspiracy, but consistency.
I don't wanna blame the loss on the officials. Really. The Canucks have played basically a game every 2nd night for a month and a half. They're pretty banged up. And after 7 straight wins, they were due for a loss. The issue I have is the frustration that the officials hand in the flow of the game was far too prominent, not only in the calls they made, but the ones they didn't. Daniel Sedin getting dumped in the last minute of a one goal game with the goalie on the bench, allowing the Coyotes to pot an empty net goal reeks to high heaven, even more so when it benefits the team owned by the league. I am not saying it's a conspiracy, but just like the way the NHL handled Augergate, it's the optics of it all. Want people to not think that certain teams get preferential treatment? Stop giving them fuel for the fire.
The Phoenix franchise is an embarrassing mess. Lawsuits. Money losses that would be unacceptable in any business let alone any of the other sports leagues. They are finally icing a decent team after years of ineptitude and it hasn't mattered a damn bit to the people there. It's not showing at the gate unless Canadian or Original 6 teams are in town. Even a long playoff run wouldn't make them break even. And that's where the conspiracies get started. What a special story that would be, if that hard suffering franchise, after all it's been through were to win the Stanley Cup? The ultimate Cinderella story, right? I said before that fans of the game, of any game desperately want to believe the game is decided on the field of play and not in some board room. Think about this for a moment: How comfortable are you with the thought of the league-owned franchise being awarded the Stanley Cup?
Is that really what's gonna happen? Am I suggesting this? Not so much, just putting that out there. I have always maintained that the league simply isn't competent enough to pull something like this off. It is however just another example of the league's uncanny ability to create new problems for itself when it tries to fix old ones. They never, ever get it right.
So what now? There hasn't been any word on possible supplementary discipline from the league, but with the NHL's fondness for Burrows, you have to wonder. The officials got the call wrong. They need to rescind the game misconduct from his record. Will they do that? Not a chance. There will be no shocked reaction from me if they suspend him. I hate this. I hate that once again this season we are sitting here talking about the integrity of the league's officials and it's justice system. It's getting old and seriously sours me on a game that I believe is better than any other. But what do I know, being a "liberal" type and not a "conservative" type from the north. Heh.
Finally, a message to Coyotes fans. Enjoy your little 'sweep'. Think we're concerned? Not in the least. The road to the cup goes through Vancouver, and you will find that if you do visit again this year, your welcome will be a rude one, indeed. So enjoy it, because the way things are going for your team, you may not have much to cheer about in the future, let alone a team to cheer for.
WAACH 'Cast's Band Of The Day-
So I kinda fucked up yesterday and featured a band I have already used, so today I am gonna give you a whole bunch of bands. Here are some of my all time favorite metal videos!