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Canucks coach Vigneault calls out referee O’Halloran

Mar 23, 2012, 10:59 AM EDT

Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault had some interesting comments in the wake of Duncan Keith‘s elbow on Daniel Sedin, taking umbrage not with the Chicago defenseman, but rather the referee that issued only a two-minute elbowing minor.

“We got a big two-minute power play off that hit from the same referee — remember last year when Daniel got punched six times in the face in the Boston series?” Vigneault told the Vancouver Sun. “I seem to remember it was the same guy.”

Vigneault’s referencing Dan O’Halloran, who worked Wednesday’s game against Chicago and Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals — the game where Marchand speedbagged Sedin:

Sedin and Marchand both got 10-minue misconducts while Marchand got an extra two for roughing. Vancouver’s beef was that 1) Sedin got penalized for doing nothing, and 2) Marchand wasn’t given more.

Now, to be fair — O’Halloran was working Game 6, but wasn’t exactly involved in the Sedin-Marchand incident. As the video shows, Kelly Sutherland was the guy trying to break it up and signaling to the penalty box; O’Halloran arrives late and just sorta stares at what’s transpired.

Not that the Canucks care about semantics. In their eyes, O’Halloran worked two games where Sedin was on the receiving end of controversial hits and questionable penalties.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of Vigneault’s comments. Unlike Stephane Auger — another referee that’s been publicly scrutinized by the Vancouver organization — O’Halloran is a veteran official with a wealth of postseason experience (and international, working the gold medal game at the 2010 Olympics.)

There’s a good chance he and the Canucks will cross paths again, quite possibly in the playoffs.

  1. tradebait9 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    At least he is consistent in his whinning just like the rest of the team.

    • habsman - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      But is he wrong?

      • amerika1313 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        He can be right and still be whining. In this case, I don’t really think he is whining. I think he’s right. The officiating league-wide has been awful this season, and for much of last season as well. And I agree with some of the other comments, that there really is no other recourse beyond airing frustration with the refs in the press. The poor quality of the officiating, coupled with the scattershot method of handing out supplemental discipline is a joke. And I honestly think that nearly every team in the league has a reason to complain. There have been bad calls on the ice and from Shanahan that have left every single team scratching their heads at some point this year. They need to sort this stuff out, quick-like, or it’s going to start seriously forcing fans to tune out.

      • amerika1313 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        …and for the record, yes, it does pain me greatly to agree with you Habsman. But when you’re right, you’re right.

    • ruddigervancity - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      Given your misspelling, I read your post as suggesting that AV and the rest of his team are consistently winning. Well done.

      • tradebait9 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        Just like the misspelling of the names on the Stanley Cup winning Canucks…..oh, wait……there were no names to misspell because they have not won the Cup.

      • soro17 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        Well, at least tradebait didn’t misspell misspell. It’s a tricky one for 12 year-olds. I’ll give him credit for that.

    • dmacirish - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      Not whining, point taken. By the way this video of Marchand makes me think of this…

  2. davebabychreturns - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Honestly, I know fans in comment sections and message board everywhere love to label some individuals (or organizations) as whiners but when there is zero recourse anywhere else – and this league has given players, coaches, management, fans and anyone else watching ample reason to believe there will be no improvement in consistency of rule enforcement – I have no problem with coaches, GMs or whoever being critical of the league or of specific officials in the media.

    Say what you will about AV, the Canucks, etc.. this game is officiated to different standards every night and it’s demonstrably true that the more a team goes out and breaks the rules the more likely they are to get away with infractions. This is a league where attempting to play by the rules is actually bad for teams.

  3. ravenscaps48 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Like I said weeks ago, O’Halloran is the WORST in the League

  4. dan46778 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Does Vigneault wants some cheese with his whine?

    • babar61 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Wow…really? Are you five years old or something?

  5. johnnyru131 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Maybe if the ref would have called a penalty against Sedin, Keith wouldn’t have had to go out of his way to take Sedin out. So in reality it’s the refs fault. You have TWO REFS for a reason and yet they still miss obvious penalties.

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      People can whine about the Sedin hit on Keith but it happens every night in this league and generally with no call.

      Canucks fans know, they watched Dan Hamhuis get his bell rung last year admiring his own pass behind his net (and watched AV go in front of reporters and say it was Hamhuis’ fault getting plastered like that).

      The Keith play happens a few times a year, maybe, and for it to not be a major and a game misconduct is.. well in another league it would be shocking.

      • rflashj - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Sedin targeted Keith’s head, which is NOT a hockey play.

      • davebabychreturns - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        I don’t particularly disagree and if he’d been assessed a two minute minor at the time I don’t think I would have seen any reason to complain.

        But that’s not what I said, nor does it have anything to do with what I said.

        What I said is that the type of hit Sedin delivered is one you see pretty much every night in this league and it often goes uncalled..

        Meanwhile, the Keith hit on Sedin is probably one of the five dirtiest plays of the year. I’d say dirtier then Brendan Smith on Ben Smith and not as dirty as Wisniewski on Clutterbuck.

  6. pepper2011 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    I wonder if he was upset that Beiska didn’t get a penalty for the charge/cross check to Seguin, and then he was tackled by Malhorta and Salo -Did we hear Julien Crying? I love how it’s OK for his team, but nobody else. It’s hockey- usually the other guy does the same thing (light jab) and it’s over.

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      He’s pointing out a veteran official’s awful track record in games he coaches, that includes a complete failure to make the right call (10 minute misconduct for getting punched) on the relatively minor interaction you’re talking about and a complete failure to make the right call (2 minute minor for head hunting) on a huge play that will surely result in a suspension and might change the course of the Canucks season.

      So uhh, nice nitpicking there pepper.. whining about someone else’s whining, I see.

      • soro17 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:10 PM

        Listening to the Bruins whine about other teams whining is one of life’s most delicious ironies.

  7. iamanidiotfan - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Watch Hockey Night in Canada; both games the early and the late game. It can be jarring to watch the difference in officiating. What’s clearly a penalty in game one is ignored in game two, with the announcers trying to justify the officiating;

    1) he’s following the rules the league set out
    2) he’s letting them play!

    And that is without getting into differences in officiating from time in the season; they’ll call more strictly early in the season, by the end of the season, they’re letting them play!

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      My favourite is when we get wind of an official failing to call a penalty on an obvious infraction out of fear of “influencing the outcome of the game” – hey dummy, you’re influencing the outcome whether you call a penalty or not!

      • iamanidiotfan - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        Absolutely. Some teams are built along finesse lines and some teams are built for a rugby match, and depending on how you call the rules, it can favor one or the other.

        Oilers-Flames is a perfect example. The Oilers built their team along finesse lines while the Flames are built for a scrum to break out any second. I watch every game in the Battle of Alberta, and depending on how the refs call can tip the balance.

      • habsman - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        It’s the same thing with suspensions. The league failed to suspend Andrew Ference for two incidents in last years playoff for fear of “influencing the outcome of the series.” He was allowed to continue playing while the guy who received the cheap shot (Jeff Halpern) missed two games.

  8. islandersfan - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Alain Vigneault should be shutting up – calling out refs in general is a bad idea that should never happen. Keep it between the team and the league. It does not help the leagues image, or the teams or the players. At most say that you’ll be talking to the league about the game and leave it at that.

    But naming the ref? or in this case almost naming him? That is beyond stupid and I hope the NHL fines AV big for that one

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      You can’t say the Canucks haven’t made a good faith effort to “keep it between the team and the league.”

      If they have and the league has failed to address their concerns, what else is left but taking it public?

      At this point it’s hard not to blame the league, who have a long track record of totally failing to address a blatant issue until overwhelmingly pressured by the GMs who clearly respond to what’s being discussed in public – this year’s example would be goaltender interference, Lucic levelling Miller, Lindy Ruff claiming it’s open season on goaltenders, GMs pushing for a response from the league and finally action from headquarters.

      • islandersfan - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        To a large extent – I don’t think it matters. Under absolutely no circumstances do you call out a ref and put him in the media spotlight short of the ref joining in a fight. Anything else stays between league and team. I totally believe the refs have done a hideous job this year, but the position of ref is one that does not get called out. Especially by name.

    • soro17 - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      It actually worked to the Canucks benefit with the Auger incident. Auger didn’t do another Canucks game for well over a year. Auger also didn’t make the cut for the playoffs that year either. The bottom line is that the league is owned by the teams and referees are employees of the league. They are not akin to an independent judiciary that is immune to influence – particularly when successful teams that bring in a lot of cash to the league have their chances of a lengthy playoff run jeopardized by the decision-making of an employee.

      • haterzgonahate - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        well said!

  9. jason9696 - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Maybe O’Halloran just doesn’t like the Canucks? Most people don’t.

  10. crmgoodness - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I try not to get involved in name calling etc, but I absolutely loathe Vigneault.

    You just don’t see most coachses take their complaints to the media the way this coach does. He’s stepped it up to a whole new level by calling out a referee by name as though this referee has some deep founded bias against Vancouver. It’s comical.

    My guess is that Keith will be banned for a good long time with good reason. The hit was cheap and deliberate and he deserves whatever he gets. Should he have gotten 5 and the game…definitely…

    In the same vain, if you don’t like hits targeting the head, you can’t like or gloss over the fact that Sedin hit Keith in the head with no call. He hit him in the head. He lifted and targeted the head. Was it as bad? Of course not, but it’s not OK to say “this happens a lot” or it “wasn’t as hard”. He targeted the head and if the league is serious about getting rid of hits to the head, that type of hit is not acceptable either and should have been penalized. I’d be curious what Alain’s take is on that…

    As for the Marchand reference, I don’t get it…Marchand got a 2 minute minor for roughing…because he, well um, was roughing…what else was supposed to be assessed by the referee there? As for the 10 minute misconducts to both…it was in the dying minutes of a blowout…the game was decided and judging from the fight Sedin had left in him, it was probably best for all involved that he not be on the ice…

    And as for supplemental discipline…if biting isn’t suspendable, neither are a few taps to the face.

    • habsman - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      First, I think Burrows is trash. However, If you were to rub your hand in my face (a common practice by the Bruins when they’re not sucker punching) I guarantee you’ll be missing a finger.

      BTW, did former Bruin Marc Savard get suspended for his biting incident?

      • crmgoodness - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        Good to see you’re back with the meaningful posts…and I’m not the least bit surprised you’d actually admit to being a biter.

        I’m also impressed that you give B’s credit for being the only team in the league that employs the face wash (of course only when not sucker punching).

        Interesting that you’d pick Savard as a target…a guy who hasn’t played meaningfully in a couple years (a victim of a cheap and gutless head shot that has for all intents and purposes ended his career)…

        He’s not actually a former Bruin as he’s still under contract. No, no he didn’t get suspended but If you think his biting antics were well received in Boston in the locker room or public you are as misinformed as your posts.

        I do agree with you again though…Burrows is trash.

      • habsman - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:06 PM

        You are the one who brought up the biting incident. Unwise when you consider a player from your team was just as guilty.

        Again, if you don’t want to have you fingers bitten, don’t stick them in somebody’s face.

    • salmon90 - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      crmgoodness – name any team in the NHL and I’ll send you a clip of them complaining about officiating. Every team does it – Quenville being one of the worst culprits. Just as a sample especially for you:

      • taytay099 - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        I recall Joel Quenneville calling a roughing penalty “the worst call in the history of sports.” He also said something similar about a hit on Brent Seabrook calling it the worst hit in the NHL.

        Also, in the past few weeks there have been three articles posted on PHT about the Ducks complaining about the officiating. I don’t see that kind of hate directed at Bobby Ryan and Bruce Boudreau. I think it’s a good thing when teams and GMs start talking about poor officiating. They all bring up valid points.

  11. jimw81 - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    The refs are cloned after Terry Gregson aka NHL Director of Officiating. The NHL drove out the Kerry Fraser’s of the world because they called games by book and let the players decided the game.

  12. stanleycup2012 - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Agree with the logic of davebreturns – the league owns this mess of heads shots.

  13. jond86 - Mar 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    That was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. The referee didn’t do anything about it because he probably thought Sedin was being a gigantic pu$$y. Pretty entertaining

  14. danohalloranisahatchetman - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    O Halloran definitely knows who signs his cheques. Somehow he always seems to be involved in controversial calls or non calls that always somehow benefit those teams in the markets (Chicago, Boston, etc) whose success means big advertising bucks for the NHL. Think Bettman doesn’t get bonuses for bringing in ad revenue? Think some of the more “ambitious” refs don’t get this and do what they can to help? If not you’d probably be shocked to hear that some lawyers win cases because they play golf with the judges. And let them win.

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