In his latest blog that has been posted over on TSN's website, former NHL referee Kerry Fraser responded to the concerns of the tinfoil hat wearing Senators fans who, for whatever reason, believed that a former league official would assure them that the fix was in. That in this case, two professional referees – Tim Peel and Dan O’Rourke – conspired and willingly ignored their own personal moral compass so that they could compromise the integrity of the game and ensure that Ottawa would lose?
Hmm, that sounds completely reasonable. Let’s take a closer look at what was said in the article itself. Jamie in Ottawa writes:
I can't understand how the Sens are consistently the highest penalized team in the league. It is bordering on the ridiculous.Well Jamie, thanks to the 282 penalties that have been called against them, the Senators have been shorthanded 211 times and have accumulated 754 minutes in penalties. This trio of statistics puts them atop the league in each category.
Breaking this down further, Ottawa has:
- Three players with 20 or more minor penalties and as a collective, the team has racked up 228 minor penalties (2nd most in the NHL)
- 38 major penalties (tied for 2nd most)
- 7 misconducts (tied for the 8th most)
- 2 game misconducts (tied for 5th most)
- 7 bench minors (tied for 4th most)
- An average of 14.2 PIM per game (3rd highest rate in NHL)
Thanks to the contributions (for lack of a better term) of Konopka, Neil, Foligno, Smith and Carkner, Ottawa has five players on their team whose PIMs exceed their number of games played.
Moving on, Greg in New Brunswick writes:
There is always talk about bringing in more digitized officiating and I used to be against it, however the officiating this year in the NHL and against Ottawa particularly, seems to be "game-altering", which is certainly not what we want. Chris Phillips was called for covering the puck in the crease which led to a penalty shot for the opponent.More digitized refereeing? Obviously Greg in New Brunswick is unaware that the NHL Situation Room is housed next door to the Air Canada Center. We need more tinfoil!
And on another note, how in the fuck was that awarded penalty shot game altering? After a decent first period, the Senators were being badly outshot in the second period and trailed 3-0 at the time of the call. Unlike NFL referees who have the luxury of replay to make the correct calls, the referee made a judgment call when he saw Chris Phillips use his hand to play the puck. Was it the wrong call? Absolutely, but with that being said, Ottawa’s not the only team of late that has been hosed on some blown calls. Both the Phoenix Coyotes and Maple Leafs have had goals waved off in the past week because of non-existent goaltender interference. If there’s a positive to be taken from these kinds of incidents, it’s that there should be a movement to embrace the use of replay to get these kinds of crease calls right.
Finally, Tim from Ottawa writes:
There is no way one team in a single game should be given three, four, five power plays in a game and the other team gets none. There is no way a single team should be down by that many minutes in penalties for or against.
If I had the money of Melnyk, I'd offer to pay any fine MacLean can get for screaming at the league/refs for the blatant bias. As I only have the money that I have, I will probably stop watching NHL altogether as if a fix isn't in, then the quality of the refereeing is disgusting.Does anyone actually believe that a guy who felt so passionately about a lack of even up calls that he would take the time to craft a personal email to Kerry Fraser is really serious about giving up watching NHL hockey?
How old are you Tim, twelve?
In the Sens games that Dan O’Rourke and Tim Peel have refereed this season, the penalties tally up as follows:
- January 31st @ Boston: zero power plays for Ottawa & four for Boston
- January 23rd @ LA: five power plays for each team
- January 21st @Anaheim: two power plays for Ottawa & three for Anaheim.
- November 27th vs Carolina: four power plays for & eight penalties for Carolina
- January 24th @ Phoenix: three power plays for each team
- January 23rd @ LA: five power plays for each team
- December 22nd vs Florida: two power plays for Ottawa & five for Florida
- November 20th @ Vancouver: five power plays for Ottawa & four for Vancouver
- October 22nd vs Columbus: two power plays for Ottawa & four for Columbus
Bias or not, Fraser did his best to calm down the pitchfork and torches crowd that clamour for even-up calls.
Referees do not act as accountants to balance the books. It is not their job to make sure each team receives an equal number of penalties by the end of the game.
This conspiracy theory has gotten way out of hand. Mistakes are made in a game and they most often result from a deficient sight line when ruling on a play, just like the penalty shot that was called in error against Chris Phillips. Please believe me when I tell you they are honest mistakes. Each official takes his responsibility to uphold the integrity of the game very seriously.How seriously do they want to preserve the sanctity of the game?
Over my many years as a professional referee, I have been cussed at in the most vile language imaginable by players and coaches, spat upon (one time directly into my open mouth from close range by a player in the IHL), physically attacked, had a helmet thrown at me by Theo Fleury, a stick launched like a javelin off the LA Kings bench by then coach Tom Webster, ducked a water bottle thrown at my head by Wings captain Reed Larson and countless pucks that 'not so accidentally' came in my direction. None of these things infuriated me more than being called a "cheater" (biased) or "gutless" (coward)!Kerry Fraser would rather have a player spit into his mouth than be called a ‘cheater’ or ‘gutless’? That’s disgusting!
At least Paul MacLean hit the nail on the head after the Bruins game by saying, “I can see ... it’s easy to point that finger (at the referees). But to be honest with you, the Senators haven’t played well enough to win. And that’s the bottom line.”
Amen. Fans can blame the schedule. Fans can blame the team travel. Fans can blame the referees and fans can blame the All-Star break. Truth is, the Senators haven’t played well since beating Pittsburgh on January 10th and they need to turn things around or risk sliding further in the standings. So long as the players and organization don’t feel sorry for themselves or use recent events as a crutch, they’ll be better for it. Besides, if you want a real conspiracy, go read up on last night’s Blue Jackets/Kings game.
As many have mentioned, the complaints aren't about the calls against us well except the BS penalty shot on Chris Phillips which I will never forget or let go but moving on we are an undisciplined team and more so when we are losing, BUT that the good thing about this team is they keep moving and "trying" and they do manage to draw key penalties. Yes, fans have been complaining all season but seriously with Tim Peel and Dan O'Rourke it has gotten a tad too much. I don't think it's a conspiracy, i think refs just plain suck all over the league and every team has his "demon" referee and that's the issue. It's amazing how insulted Fraser seemed when people call his own biased or cheaters yet he's okay saying that fans are out of touch with reality when it is evident that officiating issues have taken a world of their own. Great read, conspiracy theories are dumb the NHL really has no gain in making us lose but I do believe those two refs were embarrassed by the Sens one way or the other and will not be treating Sens with much love or leniency. Also Fraser is an idiot....
I like what Nichols said about the fans can't have it both ways. If we play hard and get some penalties during the regular season who cares? It is better than being a soft push over team that folds come playoffs. If we get into the playoffs when the whistles go missing we'll be fine.As for the refs being biased, I completely lost respect when Brad Marchand sucker punched Daniel Sedin 4 times (on camera) and they both went to the box. Absolutely unacceptable. Whether or not you think Sedin is a bitch for taking those shots, Marchand should have been punished more severely and wasn't. The Bruins give the Senators hope come playoff time. If we trade for little Gregory anyway.
An article defending the referees!!!! They have gotten to you too man! Your on the take just like Fraser!
@6thSens so who is wearing the bands Friday
First off, due to his position, Fraser has no credibility on this topic. This isn't to say he's lying, just that it is absolutely inconceivable that he would say anything other than the reffing isn't biased. To claim there was bias would be to end his career, make him a pariah to the NHL, the officiating alumni and cause a political shit storm so severe that the entire game would be called into question...yeah, that was a real option for him.
The real issue, to me, is the fact that the officials do have grudges, and do act on them on the ice. Of course they do. To think otherwise would be to put NHL officials in a group of un-natural human greatness beyond anything any other human gathering has ever accomplished. Yes they get angry, yes they hold grudges, and yes, like any fallible human, they act on them. To think otherwise is beyond reason. It doesn't even have to be "mindful"...it just happens, because human beings are, at their very core, greedy little whiners with fragile egos...come on, you know I'm right.
The fact there is no transparency in mitigating this very real situation is what leads to more "conspiracy" talk. The minute you deny the possibilty if bias is the minute you lose all credibility, and look all the more guilty of it, IMO.
Did this bias cost the Senators games/points...who knows, but it is certainly reasonable to consider the possibility in the PHO and BOS scenarios...but hardly conclusive.
Yes refs are biased, just like every-other human being, that should go without saying. If they truly aren't...we should a elect only former NHL refs.
We're going to get less and less calls in our favour. Guess why? As the OP stated we have an agitating team. Our GM is known for taking to the podium and generating a hue and cry when things go badly and he was yappy behind the bench too. We also have Zenon Konopka that gets into a fight a game nd then take a few faceoffs and a penalty or two.
It's not a conspiracy. To paraphrase a scene from Senfeld: "It's not you, it's me." And the "me" in this case is the Senators players and their style. Maybe the team needs to miss the playoffs (unlikely) or get bounced out due to penalties against for their behaviours to change. Maybe they can't or don't want to chane their behaviours. All I know is if the Senators take 10-12 penalties against even a team like New York or Toronto, it will bite them in the ass and cost them points in the standings. Discipline is key!
@SteveHL Or maybe Ottawa sheds some undisciplined players and then the fan base complains that the team is too soft?
I don't understand these idiots who think there is a conspiracy against their team. Why can't people understand that the refs make mistakes just like the players do. Over the course of a season it evens out.
The only call that was clearly terrible was the penalty shot in LA. It was 3-0 in that game at the time anyway. I actually thought the goalie interference call on Foligno in Phx was a good call. Giving him a penalty was a bit excessive, but calling off the goal was right.
People forget that Ottawa got a huge win in Toronto two weeks ago with big help from a missed goalie interference call on Spezz.
@MelnyksHangovers The whole anti-Sens stuff is complete bullshit. I play a ton of backgammon (I'm serious) and sometimes get so screwed that I feel like the game is completely against me. Only it's dice. Still, I think it's conceivable that the referees were a little miffed at McLean. They're human. It's not saying they have no integrity, or bizarrely questioning their manhood. It's just that they don't want you to go to the press when they say something irresponsible. But they weren't going out there to throw games-- anyone who says things like that are probably people that also says things like "if the refs weren't biased, vancouver would have won the cup."
As for the Foligno play though, I disagree. I think he makes a good strong play to the front of the net and moves out of the crease. Mike Smith comes flying after him.
@bobby_kelly Just watched it again. Foligno is 100% the reason Smith is not in position to make the save on Alfie's shot. No way they can allow that to be a goal. If that's legal then we may as well draw up a play every shift where Neil pushes the goalie out of the way as somebody else shoots. We should just play like football and have everybody else block for the guy with the puck.
@MelnyksHangovers Haha, come on man. I'm familiar with the rules of hockey. And I'm a homer, but not a shameless one. We definitely got away with the Spezza goal- that is definitely goaltender interference. This, I think Smith takes himself out of play going for Foligno. That's my opinion, and I know my biases.
@bobby_kelly I'm not sure if you're familiar with the rules of hockey, but you're not allowed to run into the other team's goalie when he's clearly inside his crease and trying to make a save. It doesn't matter if you had the puck on the way to the net. I'm sure if the same play happened with Anderson getting pushed 2 feet to the side of his net while somebody scored on the Sens you would feel differently.
@MelnyksHangovers I disagree, but then, I like football. It's very clean for Foligno to rush the net like that and power around the defenseman. He also makes a move to avoid contact with the 'tender. He can't just disappear. I don't like the call, but I also think it had nothing at all to do with Tim Peel's feelings about the Ottawa Senators.
@MelnyksHangovers I don't believe that there is a "anti-sens" conspiracy at all. But imo the reffing since Karlsson was accused of diving has gone downhill. Its not the calls against Ottawa (though I gotta say the Phillips one was a doozy). Its the calls that are not being made in Ottawa's favor. Take the Boston game for example. I saw at least 2 penalties that I couldn't believe were not called. One being the hit from behind on Condra by Lucic and the other being the triping call in the corner on Alfie. There was also the questionable interference call on Kelly for that bit where Neil was coming off the bench. Its the small things that effect the game in ways that can't be measured. Its not a major injustice at the time. But if we had powerplays at those points in the game that could have been a serious momentum shift. That could have changed the outcome of the game.
@MelnyksHangovers Imagine if the failed scoreclock in last night's Kings game cost the Senators instead of the Blue Jackets?
@Nichols6thSens It wasn't a failed scoreclock!!!
Dean Lombardi, via email: Those clocks are sophisticated instruments that calculate time by measuring electrical charges called coulombs. given the rapidity and volume of electrons that move through the measuring device the calibrator must adjust at certain points which was the delay you see – the delay is just recalibrating for the clock moving too quickly during the 10 - 10ths of a second before
@6thSens how come you no longer have a comment section, too afraid of facing the tin foil fans? :P