It is “Just” a Game….

Last night as Mark and I watched the Buffalo Sabres play the Atlanta Thugs  Thrashers, I was relieved to see that the first period’s officiating was pretty good. In the first period, the Sabres were taken to task as the Atlanta team scored two goals and they scored none.

I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the Sabres dressing room between that first and second periods, as whatever was said really heated the Sabres up….they came out looking like they were on fire! That, however, also signaled the end of good officiating, in my book.

 I have no idea what exactly the refs were thinking…the Sabres scored a goal within the first five minutes into the second period. One ref called it a goal, the second waved it off as no goal.  The ruling, which we only found out today, was a non-penalty goalie interference. Interesting….our Paul Gaustad was at the net, as was one of the Thrashers. As the puck entered the net, the Thrasher fell on top of his goalie, and somehow, Gaustad interfered?

When Mark bought his BIG screen TV to watch hockey, I thought he was nuts! However, now that he has that, as well as a DVR which can rewind and allow us to review plays, I am of the mindset that the NHL would do well to rid the ice of all officials and let them sit on the sidelines and view the game just the same as we do. In all fairness, this would allow the officials to make better calls with less room for errors. 

Never mind no penalties called when Derek Roy took a stick to his face and when Adam Mair had to leave the ice for a good portion of a period to have his (bleeding) face tended to. I remember Mark had explained that an injury involving blood would cost the offending team four minutes in a power play. Mair was seen yelling at the refs, but it did no good….

In the course of this game, I saw Thrashers throwing Sabres onto their own goalie. Hmm…they must really regard him highly, or think he is indestructible. One of the Thrashers also landed on top of our Ryan Miller, badly bruising his knee and forcing our other goalie to come in and take his place.

I am so pleased that the Sabres play a fast, clean game. It is a game of speed and finesse. However, apparently, the NHL would rather see “Goon Hockey”, spiced with some rough-and-tumble action taking place. Too bad. The Sabres are a small team, physically, and to see some of these tanks coming at them just makes my blood boil.

Well, I have said my piece, and I really was sad last night as I watched the officials take over the game and basically hand Atlanta the victory.  If I were an Atlanta fan, I think I wouldn’t be so proud….when the officials actually called two exceedingly minute penalties against Buffalo just to even the game,  I wouldn’t think my team was so great.   At that point they pulled the goalie so they could have SIX players on the ice to our three.  How could the Thrashers NOT score?

So, as my title says….it is just a game. At this point, perhaps I should just take up watching Curling instead……