So here we are down to the last two teams in the NHL playoffs with the Penguins and the Predators going at it for the Cup.Getting to this point has been a wild ride for both teams, one being the last team to qualify and another defending its title. Now usually I’m stoked and excited the entire time throughout the playoffs, but this year has me very upset and rattled, and I’ll explain why. Typically we like to see players decide who wins these crucial games leading to the Cup finals and this year the refereeing has been just atrocious, awful and down right confusing. I have never seen officiating so inconsistent in all the time I have been watching hockey. I feel a lot of teams were ousted because of head scratching calls.
Yet despite all this we have still had competitive games on both the western and eastern conference brackets. Now trust me I believe in all fairness of the games being played but some of these calls I have seen through the past month and a half since the playoffs began have really hindered some teams to effectively play to their full capability, to the point where I felt teams were holding back because of the inconsistency of the officiating. When you play scared, you can’t win, thus you won’t advance.
Despite all of this Nashville who has been the most impressive team in this years post season has just put their heads down and really moved forward and stuck to the guns of the style of play like they have done all season long. Being physical and having the most productive blue line offense all post season long and a white hot goalie in Rinne, has brought the Preds to their first Cup appearance in the franchises history. Ellis, Josi, Subban, and Ekholm have been subjected to some of these bad calls, along with Malkin, Cole, and others on the Pens roster too. I hate seeing referees making bad calls and deciding the games, that should be up to the players to do that.
I have seen too many sticks to the face that have gone uncalled, plays that have been off-sides gone uncalled and other calls that were made that wouldn’t even be called during a regular season game. Even when you get Pierre McGuire saying that it’s getting ridicules the way these games are being called you know you have a problem!!! (and everyone hates McGuire) the measuring stick has essentially been thrown out the window and I feel every fan has been getting sick and tired of it, I know I have.
For now I have to look past all this and try to enjoy the games as best as I can as a fan, but as an analyst it infuriates me to no avail. Regardless of the matter both teams will have to continue on despite bad calls being made and keep playing the way they have been to reach this point.