Skip to content

Vancouver columnists disagree about the NHL’s diabolical plot against Canucks

Mar 27, 2012, 7:38 PM EDT

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins Getty Images

Vancouver’s lead conspiracy theorist was on about the officiating again last night after the Canucks beat the Kings, 1-0, in an admittedly poorly refereed game.

Wrote The Province’s Tony Gallagher:

The players got away with more and more in the second period with the crowd howling at outrages, like Willie Mitchell very nearly ending Ryan Kesler’s career with a takeout that fortunately the Canuck got up from and skated off out of pure luck.

Yet there was no call for reasons that defied reason, until you realize the Kings badly need the points and trailed in the game, situational officiating so prevalent in the game now that it’s threatening to become a strategy teams can employ.

Curiously Gallagher went on to highlight a couple of bad calls that went against the Kings, which sort of hurt his argument. But it was out there all the same.

Gallagher, you might recall, is the same columnist that suggested before last year’s Stanley Cup finals that the Bruins would receive favorable officiating because Boston forward Gregory Campbell is NHL executive Colin Campbell’s son.

Today, presumably in response to Gallagher’s piece, fellow Province columnist Ed Willes took a swing at all the tinfoil hatters.

Here’s a theory: Maybe there aren’t any conspiracies. Maybe those calls that appear to be part of a conspiracy are simply random in nature. Maybe the fans can’t see that because their passion clouds their judgment. Maybe the organizations that cry about conspiracies are simply trying to influence officials to their own end. Or maybe they’re trying to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings.

Now, we should probably mention that Willes has been spotted eating caviar with Gary Bettman at the Bilderberg conference, but it’s true that every team receives its fair share of bad calls.

Except the Penguins.

Everyone knows the NHL wants the Penguins to win.

  1. scottfmullin - Mar 27, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    There are no conspiracies in officiating. The people who say their team is being conspired against have no imagination.

    • warpstonebc - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:32 AM

      Of course there are no conspiracies in officiating… that would require a reasonable degree of competence.

      The sad truth is that NHL refereeing is just this bad for everyone..Terry Gregson and his crews are really just completely unable to call the game consistently from day 1 to the end of the cup. Worse, Shanahan has actually provided a buffer for gutless refereeing to continue as egregious violence is no longer just up to them to police.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 27, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    No mention of the Rand corporation, the saucer people, or the reverse vampires? What kind of lame diabolical conspiracy is this?

    • danphipps01 - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      Nobody ever said Gallagher was an interesting writer.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:02 PM

        Obviously not close to being Simpsons calibre.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM


  3. craigmaitland - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    He’s right. It’s not conspiracy against any particular teams. But there is certainly situational reffing that goes on. The ole “putting the whistles away” (unless of course the defending team has the puck roll on them any they accidentally put the puck over the boards.. In no other sport is their different rules for different situations. If a hooking penalty is going to be called in game 52 of the regular season it should be called in overtime game 7 of the cups finals. Baseballs strike zone stays they same in all games, nba they call fouls on everything every game, and nfl a hold in game 1 is a hold in the superbowl.

    • predswilrule - Mar 28, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      actually, the nba and collegiate basketball are full of the put the whistles away at the end. the nba is notorious at refusing to call fouls on its stars w/ a defensive reputation. however, this doesnt distract from your complaint being correct. call the game the same from face off opening night to final horn in june. i also have a gripe w/ discipline being based on injury. a dirty hit is a dirty hit regardless of severe injury or offended player skating away.

      • ruddigervancity - Mar 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        Agree – count the number of times you see a charging violation where the call doesn’t favour a team that is mounting a comeback or in the midst of a huge momentum shift.

    • matt14gg - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      Buddy, you were right on the money until you brought up officiating in other leagues. That’s the whole point. Officiating in every sport changes based on the situation. No ref wants to be the guy to make the outrageous call late in a game so they become conservative when the game is on the line. The strike zone gets smaller in baseball, The stars get the calls in crunch time in the NBA and flags get put away in the playoffs in the NFL. Watch a Hail Mary Pass at the end of a football game. Players get assaulted in the endzone and nothing is called. Bottom line: it happens in every sport.

  4. pastabelly - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Those columnists sound more like homers and fans than journalists.

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      Have you perused a Canuck-friendly board? There are two kinds of people. Canuck fans and “homers” (everyone else).

  5. emperorzero - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    I heard the league is preparing something they are calling “The Death Star” to use against the Canucks.

    • govtminion - Mar 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      …Dustin Byfuglien?

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        No no no, Byfuglien is the Jumbo Jet, not the Death Star.

      • govtminion - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        Oh yeah. Fine, Kyle Wellwood? (Did the Jets collect heavy players or something?)

  6. rgledz - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    @craigmaitland……C’mon man, you can’t seriously think that the strikezone in a blowout game doesn’t expand, or tighten in a close game. If you think that, you don’t watch much baseball. Every umpire has a different strikezone and they call it differently for every pitcher. Do you honestly think that the number 5 pitcher on the Royals staff gets the same calls that Halliday gets??? Do you really think that that Kode doesn’t get away with traveling more than others or that refs don’t let the ticky tack stuff go late in a close game? In football, you could call holding on every play….sometimes they call it, sometimes they don’t. I could go on foever, but I’ll end it by saying……don’t be so naive buddy.

    • kitshky - Mar 28, 2012 at 3:08 AM

      Yes strikezones change with Umpires but for the moosst part it’s consistent within those parameters, and while of course certain players might get different treatment than others, there’s no league like the NHL. The basic rules of the game seem to completely change depending on any number of factors. (What time of year it is, what the score is, how many penalties have been called already …ect ect.)

      On an aside (and a little bit of a rant) when Ref’s put the whistle away because they “dont want to have an impact on the game” …theyre impacting the game, I am yet to understand why they’re commended for it. .

  7. jkaflagg - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Stay classy, Vancouver !

    ….but beware of grassy knolls……

  8. paledevil - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    While i agree most comments from Vancouvercan be classified as whining.. The NHL needs to century up big time. Use the technology thats available.Tine for an off ice ref….

  9. craigmaitland - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    In those other sports the star players do get the benefit of the doubt you may be correct. But hockey is the only sport with situational calling. NHL clearly lets waaaaaaaay more go in the playoffs than during the regular season. “letting them play” really just favors an unskilled team and brings the whole game down. And as for the other sports Star players getting the benefit of the doubt more often is true but at least the games are called the same and are consistent throughout.

  10. iamanidiotfan - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:04 AM

    I don’t know if there is a conspiracy; but the situational nature of some NHL refereeing does hurt (or benefit) some teams than others. It comes down to how teams are built. When the Canucks played the Sharks in the semis, refereeing wasn’t much of an issue. Had the Canucks played the Lightning in the finals, we probably wouldn’t be hearing much about how officiating was an issue.

    But when they played the Bruins, whether they called the rules stringently did make a big difference. Strict adherence to the rules would have negated some of the Bruins advantage in size and strength and would benefit the Canucks. “Letting them play” benefited the Bruins because they were able to impose their will on a smaller, faster team. I know a lot of Canuck fans are still steamed about that penalty on Sedin in the finals when his only crime was getting punched in the face repeatedly. or when Raymond got mugged when he was nowhere near the puck and ended up with a fractured spine.

    • dropthepuckeh - Mar 28, 2012 at 7:39 AM

      “I know a lot of Canuck fans are still steamed about that penalty on Sedin in the finals when his only crime was getting punched in the face repeatedly.”

      You are still complaining about it – almost a year later?! I think you should get two minutes for whining, again. Sedin got the misconduct for being a p*ssy when a 5’8″ guy is tossing him around.

      Every team is the victim of bad calls, it is how the team deals with adversity that sets them apart. Some teams rally in short handed situations and use it to their advantage, some wilt and cry to refs or b*tch to the press. If you are forever complaining in the press you have already lost.

      Vancouver’s achilles heel is “tough” play. Whether its SJS, Chicago or Boston they have been exposed.

      • ruddigervancity - Mar 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

        Yep, San Jose sure did put a whooping on the Canucks…

      • haterzgonahate - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        maybe last year.. but judging from what i saw when they last played Chicago.. Nucks are gooning up for the playoffs

        ..theeeeen the whistles will come out lol

    • homelanddefense - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      I just went on youtube to watch that Boychuk hit again. They show it a bunch of times in many different angles and you never see Boychuk stride to drive him into the boards, or push with his hands. They were locked up and momentum took them into the corner. Its unfortunate that Raymond’s back took all the weight on the hit.

    • matt14gg - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Couldn’t have come up with a better example of what everyone is talking about than this comment. You people simply live in a Blue and Green fantasy world.

      • iamanidiotfan - Mar 30, 2012 at 2:13 AM

        The whole point of the article is that the Canucks fans and management feel there is a league bias against them and a lot of it stems from the officiating in last year’s final. Sedin getting hit and Raymond getting hurt are evidence pointed to as proof of bias. Rome’s suspension when the Canucks were already short-handed on defence is further proof to those that want to see a bias.

        When I look at last year’s finals, I see the Canucks failing to take advantage of powerplay situations. Had they been able to score at a pace even remotely close to their regular season average, it’s a completely different series. But with a completely useless powerplay, Bruin players had no fear of penalties, because Canucks couldn’t score.

  11. homelanddefense - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Gallagher is an insufferable whiner, and a complete homer. I cant stand journalists like him, which is why I dont like Jack Edwards either (And Im a Bruins fan).

    The problem is when a media person continually spews this trash the fans grab onto it. And the opinion becomes the fact. I cant tell you how many times Ive read about the Bruins only winning because Colin Campbell’s kid plays for Boston. Marinaro in Montreal is just as bad.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1738)
  2. P. Kane (1361)
  3. M. Richards (1244)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1232)
  5. N. Backstrom (1093)