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Did refs let too much go in Habs-Flyers Game 1?

May 17, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

halakrefs.jpgDuring the Chicago Blackhawks-San Jose Sharks live chat, I brought up the possibility that the Philadelphia Flyers’ traditional physical (some might say dirty?) style could make life miserable for the Montreal Canadiens. That certainly seemed to be the case in Game 1 as the Flyers bludgeoned and bruised the Habs on their way to a brutal 6-0 beating.

Some put a little more positive spin on it (pointing out how much of a difference Chris Pronger made), but Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette thinks that the officiating might be (at least partially) to blame for the Habs’ struggles.

After outlasting the mighty Washington Capitals, and sending Sidney Crosby and his vintage whine back to Cole Harbour, the Canadiens deserve something better than to be run over by a team given carte blanche to play hockey the way Bobby Clarke did.

See Valeri Kharlamov, Bobby? Go break his ankle.

That’s Flyers hockey. Always has been, always will be. That’s the way they played it last night, tumbling over Halak to the point where you almost wished for the return of the toe-in-the-crease rule.

No doubt about it, officiating could make an impact on this series. The Canadiens have an efficient powerplay while the Flyers are renowned in the hockey world for their “bullying.”

It’s pretty silly to look past just how much the Flyers outplayed Montreal, though. Referees aren’t going to save Jaroslav Halak and his team. Simply put, you can’t expect to lose the puck possession battles over and over again and get away with it each time.

What do you think? Did the Habs get hosed? Will the powerplay tide turn once the series switches to Montreal or just when a different officiating crew calls the game? Let us know in the comments.

  1. PhillyClass - May 17, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    “…tumbling over Halak to the point where you almost wished for the return of the toe-in-the-crease rule.” You’re the whiner. Philly played the rules. The puck was in the crease or they were shoved into it on stupid moves by hapless defenders without consideration to Halak. Watch the actual game and not the scoreboard. Amateur, High-School Reporting. You’re fired.

  2. FlyersFan - May 17, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    On one play Pronger took a high stick to the face and was subsequently cross-checked down to the ground. i think the lack of calls were pretty even

  3. Booner - May 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    First time I have ever read “Philly” and “Class” in the same sentence.

  4. anonymous - May 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    How hilarious is it that they trot out the same old, outdated line about Sid whining in an article whining about bad officiating? Oh the irony.
    More importantly- I’m a Pens fan, and hate Philly- but there is no doubt the Habs lost that game. The officating had nothing to do with it. They laid an egg- and they got out hit, out shot, and out gutted. But then- same thing happened in Washington and Pittsburgh.

  5. anonymous - May 17, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    ** In game 1 I mean. They got out played in Game 1 of both those series and came back with the fire they lacked.

  6. Joe - May 17, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    The habs go 0-4 on the powerplay and it’s the refs fault. This assclown of a writer is nothing more than a whining hack canuck.
    The score was 6-0. SIX TO NOTHING!!!! It was not ever close and the refs had nothing to do with it. The Flyers steamrolled the habs. Hypocrite back bacon munching jack wipe wannabe columnist.
    You can’t whine about the refs, while simultaneously calling Crosby a whiner. It makes you look dumb. Oh, that’s right, Montreal Gazette, that explains it.

  7. Anonymous - May 17, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    You lose six to nothing, and you’re going to blame the refs?Seriously?
    Come on, Jack Todd. Lose graciously, you are shaming the great city of Montreal and all its’ hockey history.
    You cheapen the game and make yourself look like a fool.

  8. A.J - May 17, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    There were a couple plays where Montreal took liberties with Leighton as well, including at least one play where they blatantly ran him over, knocking off the net. Missed calls went both ways…Get over yourself…This Flyers team is not “gooning it up”, they are playing tough physical hockey…who doesn’t love the checking, grinding game of hockey…that is the way it used to be played by teams like Boston and Toronto. Only Philadelphia is remembered for hard skating, supposed goonery…what a joke.

  9. Sonvar - May 17, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Didn’t see the game but a 6-0 win to me says that the Habs just got outplayed. Habs might still win the series overall but they need a much better performance
    @anon
    Caps lost to the Habs in game 1 of their series. Pens beat the Habs in game 1 of their series.

  10. Russ - May 17, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    All of the skill and finesse on the Flyers and the first gripe we hear is Thuggery and Bullying?? JVR is a goon right? Giroux? Briere? Gagne? Get real! How many fights were there? That’s right. Yes, Pronger is a big mean defenseman… there are plenty in the NHL and are not unique to Philly. I just wish the team would be judged on its players now, not the style that defined a team in the 70’s.

  11. Ben - May 17, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    The tears of the “writer” are quite apparent. Whining about the results are typical of crybabys, blaming the refs for your teams failures are laughable.
    That game was a pitiful demonstration of poor hockey on the part of the Montreal team. Accept the obvious and demand that your team play the game as accepted. Otherwise they belong on the list of those who tried and were found wanting.
    Mr. O’Brian, I doubt Montreal needs the efforts of poor hacks such as yourself, blaming the refs for their obvious failures. They have proven to be better that.

  12. Lee - May 17, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    I was at the game (admitted Flyer’s Season Ticket Holder), but if anyone was gooning it up it was montreal. The hit by Gomez on Richard, well after the play was a prime example. And yes Carcillo is less than stellar in discretion, but almost every game he gets cross checked/slashed in a way if it happened to any other player it is called, and last night was no exception. I do expect the Canadiens to come roaring back, but have confidence in the Flyboys. Also based on the ranking of teams most penalized during the year, no refs are cutting the flyers any breaks.
    lee

  13. 60eagles - May 18, 2010 at 5:36 AM

    James O’Brien…Good Lord, grow up. Refs fault they got hammered 6-0? Get a life and do some real commentary and stop complaining. And complaining about Bobby Clarke exposed your bias. Nice try.

  14. Mathew - May 18, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Besides the Coburn goal they werent even near the Habs goalies when they scored. Stop crying. Briere, Gagne, Giroux, Hartnell, and Van Reimsedyk just picked your goalies a part.
    I wish hockey was still played like it was back in the BroadStreetBullies days but its not and it wasnt played that way in game one. The Habs beat the Capitals and Penguins because they are both finesse teams and the Habs hit them in the mouth and played them physically which was great. But now you guys are upset because the Flyers arent falling into the same traps as the Caps and Penguins?
    Sorry the Flyers arent going to make it easy for uses and play soft so the Habs can beat up on them. Habs fans are just upset because they just realized the physical game that they played in the first 2 series that helped them win isnt going to work this time. The Flyers are better at it and are going to keep doing it. Legally.

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