Friday, March 18, 2011

Burrows - Fiddler crosscheck snaps streak

Fiddler on the Ice
In a game where Phoenix Coyotes backup goaltender Jason Labarbera and Canucks' Roberto Luongo were stealing the show, Alex Burrows and Vern Fiddler stole the spotlight from them on a controversial play that will no doubt dominate Vancouver sports radio airwaves for the next few days.

Alex Burrows skated in to strip the puck from Fiddler.  Burrows appears to slash Fiddler and gently give him a nudge on his way down, forcing Fiddler into the boards.  Compared to other similar plays, including the Alex Ponikarovsky hit on Canucks' Dan Hamhuis last week, the play likely should have warranted a two minute minor.  Referee Kelly Sutherland however ruled it to be worthy of a 5-minute major and game misconduct.

Despite the tough call, Burrows to his credit commended Sutherland for being one of the best in the league overall.  The call frustrated many Canucks fans as the Coyotes capitalized on the 5-minute power play late in the game, tallying twice to forge ahead 2-0 at the time.  The Canucks scored to get within one, and with an empty net and Vancouver swarming around the Phoenix net, Daniel Sedin was blatantly tripped, but there was no call.  Phoenix took the puck from the fallen Sedin and scored an empty netter to ice the game 3-1.

As if the game-deciding Burrows call and the non-call on the Sedin trip were not enough, Canucks fans could point to a 'can opener' in the third period on Raymond that went uncalled, a penalty to Mikael Samuelsson for a retaliation after he was cross-checked and punched, and a diving call to Maxim Lapiere after he was slashed.  Still trying to figure out how you can be slashed badly enough to warrant a penalty and still be called for a dive.

Canucks' Coach Alain Vigneault avoided commenting directly on the call to some degree, but did compare the call to the Ponikarovsky hit on Hamhuis, where only a two minute minor was justified.  Vigneault also seemed to be keeping his opinions to himself, clearly frustrated with the exaggerated call to Burrows, and the missed calls throughout the game.  "What can you do?" seemed to be his motto throughout the press conference.

In any event, NHL conspiracy theorists will have some ammunition to play with after tonight's game, but a few miss calls aside, the Canucks will have to shake this one off and enjoy a few days off before resuming their schedule next week.  Hard to imagine there will be any supplemental discipline to Burrows for that hit, but the league will undoubtedly review it.  One other interesting note is that despite the hit to the head and the subsequent delay while Vern Fiddler regained his wits and left the ice, he did not take the new obligatory 15 minute respite to undergo evaluation.  Fiddler was back on the ice for the power play.

Regardless of the Burrows incident, the Coyotes meanwhile have won yet again, and continue their march up the Western Conference Standings.  The Coyotes are pushing for home ice advantage and to avoid a first round match up against the big three teams in the West (San Jose, Detroit, Vancouver).

Click here for more on controversy surrounding the NHL's supplemental discipline.


  1. Fucking Refs.... horseshit call

  2. Seems like it's getting closer to that time of year the referees start to lose their eyesight

  3. The amount of BS calls that were at best marginal in the 1st period for both sides, when will the refs understand that this is a game between 2 teams it is not a game for the refs to decide.

    And then the 5 minute major that looked liked at first, was not even going be to be called a penalty, to the missed calls that followed, have some consistency out there.

    If the players need to be held accountable for their actions, I think it is about time the refs too need to be held accountable for their calls, to many times we see the refs deciding the outcome of games, maybe if they start getting fined and suspended they will think twice about being consistent with their referring.

  4. Presumably referees are disciplined but it's always behind closed doors. Is that ideal?

    I know I'd like to see the league or a referee admit to a bad call every now and then. Pretending the league's officials don't make mistakes is infuriating.

  5. The Burrows call for boarding was just the tip of the Iceberg. The reality for many of us Canuck and NHL fans, it that it is so terribly obvious that we have very few decent and honest Referees, Referees that can’t be bought or swayed, Referees that don’t get influenced by bribes and favoritism, Referees that are true to themselves, the players and the fans, just by keeping it honest and real, simply because they love what they do. Where are those Refs.

    For many of us fans, (unless you’re a Phoenix fan or similar) you are left to cringe and complain time and time again over the all to obvious bad calls (or lack of them). The ongoing inconsistencies and inadequacies of many of these so call Refs have us fans shaking our heads wondering who’s paying them off?? How can we respect that or them?

    Where are they being trained and what are they led to believe? Is it not the fans that inevitable pay their wage for a job (not) well done? How are these Refs dealt when ongoing bad calls take place, do they have a consequence to ‘their’ actions??? Do these Refs understand that we (the fans) are robbed of a good & exciting game because of their inability or dishonesty? And in closing, we don’t care if the player is a ‘great’ one or not, its even worse, because they should know better!, regardless, if a player generates a penalty, they shouldn’t be given special leniency (grrr) they should be penalized like the rest of them!

    Question: Is a bad Referee ever accountable when he fails the players and the fans because he isn’t doing his job?

  6. No suplementary discipline to LA for driving Chris Tanev face-first into the boards. Not even a penalty to Drew Doughty for the blind-side on Daniel Sedin either. Nope, there's no conspiracy here. The league simply has zero respect for Vancouver as a team and still don't believe that the club's elite players deserve any protection from the NHL's thugs. Are the officials still that PO'd about Burrows calling them out? Get over it already!

  7. Kelly Sutherland is hands down the worst ref I've ever seen. The Bruins had to face TWO teams during the 7 game series with Montreal, the Cs and the refs. And they still fuckin won!! Subban blatantly tried to trap Kelly into a penalty last night by holding his arms, no fuckin call.
    Kelly Sutherland if your reading this, you are a fucking asshole, you have no decency and no respect for the game, and its so blatantly one sided that even the Bruins announcers dropped your name so we could call the league and complain cuz you suck!! Fuck you Sutherland!!