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According to referees, Erik Karlsson is a diver

Jan 21, 2012, 9:22 PM EDT

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

There are few things that annoy people around the league more than a player diving. So when an NHL referee tells a coach during the game that one of his players didn’t get a call because he’s a diver, it’s sure to hit a nerve.

In the final minutes of the Ducks tight 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, Ryan Getzlaf reached out with one hand and hit defenseman Erik Karlsson on the leg with his stick. Karlsson when down to the ice and it minimized a Grade A scoring chance with just over a minute left in the game. The Ducks eventually were able to recover the puck after a weak backhand attempt, clear the puck, and ultimately win the game.

The play could have gone either way. We’ve seen far less called tripping this season; yet we’ve seen far more forgiven in the waning minutes of a game. The controversy stems from the comments made from referee Dan O’Rourke to Senators’ head coach Paul MacLean after the play.

“The referee informed us that (Karlsson) was a diver,” MacLean told the media after the game. “We were a little bit disappointed. Erik Karlsson leads the league in points by a defenseman, he’s an elite skater in the league, and, to this point in time, I can never remember him taking a dive. If it’s not a penalty, it’s not a penalty, but I don’t think you should be accusing someone of being a diver. That’s a pretty serious accusation, isn’t it?”

What do you think? Do you think Erik Karlsson has earned the reputation as a diver in the past? More importantly, do you think the on-ice officials should take that into account when a player goes down at the end of the game?

Fire off in the comments…

  1. TJ - Jan 21, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    I’m a Sabres fan, and even I think this is bull.

  2. Stiller43 - Jan 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    There a video i can judge on? Or can i not see it cause im on the sportstalk app?

  3. lovesthebj - Jan 21, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    He’s the smallest dude on the ice in any game played. If the ref sees a dive, call it and stand behind your call. There’s no excuse for just turning your head away and then trashing a player. Call the game straight up or down, there’s no room for a ref’s opinions, preferences or biases.

  4. drewsylvania - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    What’s clear to me is that in general the refs have no idea when to call penalties anymore. Frankly, they could probably call diving every shift for an entire game. When the call a stick infraction, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether the stick or the dive caused the player to fall. I’m not blaming the refs–it seems to be really hard to tell where fault lies sometimes.

    • vanfoodman - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      No, don’t blame the refs, blame the rules committee and Terry Gregson, he’s the head of officials and since he’s had the job the quality of officiating has gone down the tubes, the worst ever as a matter of fact.

  5. drewsylvania - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    But it’s pretty lousy to say that you’re not going to call a penalty on someone because he’s a diver. It’s either a penalty or it isn’t. It doesn’t stop being a penalty because of a player’s reputation.

    And either call diving all the time, or not at all. Calling it once a month is like how the NFL enforced the Tuck Rule. (and I’m a Pats fan)

  6. vanfoodman - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    If Terry Gregson, the Director of Officiating, was any kind of leader this referee wouldn’t have ever thought of saying what he said in the first place. Now that he has, Gregson should suspend him, but he won’t, cuz Gregson as evidenced by the state of officiating, is a terrible leader.

  7. vanfoodman - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    So, by the logic of the ref, Karlsson should have received a diving penalty, right? But did he? No, he did not! There are multiple dives in every game by every team and very rarely, if ever, is a penalty called for diving. Can you say HYPOCRISY?

  8. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 22, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    Should refs take a player’s reputation into acount when determining calls? No. Will they? Of course, it’s called the human element. These guys aren’t robots.

    Actually I liked the ref being so straight forward, if that’s really what happened. We do only have Mu-mu-mustache’s side of the story. For all we know the ref said Karlsson took a dive on the play and that got twisted into “the ref said he’s a diver.”

    Plus, O’Rourke is from Calgary. I’m sure Karlsson is a diver compared to the kids he played against.

  9. pgr0113 - Jan 22, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Clearly a trip. Karlsson with a quality scoring opportunity abd his going to take a dive? Give me a break. And if Karlsson is a diver, wht wasn’t he called on that? Terrible refereeing!

    • vanfoodman - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      I think it’s clearly a dive and the ref should have given Karlsson a penalty for it. That’s the real problem with the refs comment. He’s being a hypocrite and he, the ref, should be suspended not only for his comment but for not making the correct call on the play.

  10. hello12345678912 - Jan 22, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    this was the play:

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