Wednesday night, we not only had an MLB umpire blowing a perfect game for Tigers pitcher Armando Galarrgga, but apparently the NHL Stanley Cup referees were also out of it. The problem is the missed calls were not limited to Game 3 of the series — the referees have been missing calls against both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers the entire series.
Now before you jump to conclusions that I’m angry because of some Blackhawks favoritism (and the fact that they lost), I want you to know that’s not the case; there are some plays that the Blackhawks got away with too. What stood out as the most egregious error was the refs missing a boarding call on this hit by Chris Pronger on Patrick Kane:
Kaner’s helmet was knocked off because of that hit from Pronger. What did the refs do? Well they didn’t call boarding like they should have. That was the second time that Pronger had gone after Kane and it was pretty obvious he had it out for him. But hey, that’s hockey.
I’m cool with players going after one another — that’s just adds to the competitive nature of the game. But when you have Pronger who is 6’6″ and 220 pounds targeting Kane who is 5’8″ and 178 pounds, there is something wrong with that. Flyers fans almost saw Kane’s bones break right in front of them. I guess that’s why they call them the “Orange Crush”.
The point of this is that NHL refs need to pay closer attention to some of these plays. Not just for the Blackhawks, but also for the Flyers too — this is the Stanley Cup Finals. The only positive I did see from Pronger going after Kane last night was that Kane wasn’t going to back down. It reminded me of the heart that he showed during the Gold Medal Game at the Vancover Olympics. The kid might actually be growing some cojones instead of shying away from every check that comes his way.