Last week, I took Tom Benjamin to task for his commentary on the Nathan Horton hit. But he nails it when it comes to the Lapierre / Chara idiocity:
1) I don’t like the “embellishments” any more than anybody else. Not only are they bush, they are proving to be counter-productive costing far more calls than they have gained.
On the other hand, the after the whistle pokes, spears and slashes are every bit as bush. Lapierre looked ridiculous after taking the jab of the stick from Chara, but why is the jab okay?
Absolutely. As much as we (and I include myself in this), take Lapierre to task for his over-acting, Chara still gave him an intentional jab to with his stick after the whistle. Even though the damage was negligible, and certainly not to the level that Lapierre tried to display, Chara still should have just kept his stick to himself. If Lapierre had simple run into his stick, fine. But Chara did push his stick into an opponent after the play. It wasn’t spearing, but it wasn’t cool. The after the whistle stuff should end now. Play a hockey game. I don’t think game six will be much different from the previous five, but there is always hope.
I did think this was a little funny:
The Bruins think Henrik’s right ankle is sore so they all give him a little whack every chance they get. Not hard enough to be worth a penalty but hard enough to notice.
How soon we forget Joe Thornton’s shoulder. I’m sure the after the whistle punishment he got was simply… heck, I can’t even make up anything here. The Canucks targeted Thornton and his shoulder, and everyone knows it. The CBC knew it, the players knew it, and the fans knew it. But it’s a distant memory at this point.
Diving may show a lack of respect, but the officials have earned every bit of that disrespect.
Oh please. I thought about what I would do in the situation the refs are in, and concluded that I would put the first pair of over-actors in the box for two each, and warn the benches that there will be no tolerance for diving or post-whistle antics. Set the tone and send the message right away, and keep to the standard. Don’t give up, and the players will get the message quickly.
I think the officiating has been fine these playoffs. We all know it’s a hard job, and the NHL has the best refs in the world. It’s easy to believe the coaches and GMs when they talk about lopsided penalty numbers, but sometimes, you earn what you get. And if you spend any time in the box, your team isn’t going to be happy. Such is the nature of being down a man. It’s a punishment for a reason.