Blog Entry

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:37 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 11:38 am
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By: Adam Gretz

How do you know when a game has questionable (or, let's be honest about it, bad) officiating? When both teams have a legitimate gripe that they were robbed, which is kind of what unfolded in Montreal on Saturday night.

Late in the third period of Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime win over the Canadiens, and just minutes after Jordan Staal tied the game, scoring on a breakaway off the bench, Montreal's Max Pacioretty hit Kris Letang coming across the middle of the ice with what appeared to be an elbow to the face, resulting in a pool of blood on the ice.

There was no penalty called on the play, though Pacioretty will be hearing from the NHL on Monday for this hit.




If that wasn't enough controversy for one night, Letang managed to return to the game for the overtime period and scored the game-winning goal. It was one that left the Canadiens and their fans absolutely livid.

As Pittsburgh's James Neal drove to the net and managed to get a backhand shot on goal, Montreal goaltender Carey Price appeared to have the puck secured underneath his leg, only to have the Penguins continue to dig and poke at the puck while the referees didn't blow the whistle, even though it easily could have been (and perhaps should have been) stopped given how Price had the puck secured.

It was eventually worked free and Letang was there waiting to deposit it into the empty cage. Price responded by breaking his stick off the goal post and then launching it across the ice. It had to be a frustrating moment, given how well he played throughout the game, stopping 38 shots, some of them in spectacular fashion.



And that's the kind of night it was in Montreal.

The fact it was Pacioretty that delivered the hit on Letang instantly resulted in a discussion about last season's incident involving him and Boston's Zdeno Chara, and how critical the Montreal forward was of the league for not suspending Chara for driving him into the turnbuckle along the benches at the Bell Centre. (It should be pointed out that Pacioretty apologized to Letang after the game for Saturday's hit). And that comes just one day after Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby was criticized by Ottawa's Nick Foligno for elbowing him in the head during a scrum around the net after Crosby called for the banishment of head shots over the summer as he recovered from a concussion.

Crosby spent most of his post-game interview on Saturday answering questions about Foligno's comments the night before, while he defended his actions the night before and pointed to the Pacioretty hit on Letang as the type of play the NHL should be looking to eliminate.

Chaos.

There are so many questions that, at this point, remain unanswered: Why was Paciorrety not penalized? Will the league step in and offer punishment after the fact in the form of a fine or suspension? Why did the refs not stop the play that Letang ultimately scored on? What game were referee's Mike Hasenfratz and Dan O'Rourke watching, and was it as good as the one taking place on the ice in Montreal?

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Comments

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: November 29, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

. I predict Crosby is going to start getting hit hard again,

====================

He got blasted his first game back, where have u been?    



Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

Geez, I dunno what everyone is so upset about. The officiating wasn't that bad. I mean, if you think that the NHL has bad referees, you should watch WWE Pro Wrestling sometime.

And as for Paciorretty, he will get his just deserts: he will have to explain to Czar Brendan that he didn't have any ill intent. Just like Milan Lucic got what he deserved when he had to explain himself after steamrolling Ryan Miller out of the line-up.

Seriously, though, the officiating has become a bit of a problem. It is just not consistent. No one knows what they can or cannot do based on the way the officials call the game, the officiating can vary widely from one game to the next in terms of what refs allow players to get away with, and Shanahan suspends players for things they didn't even know where illegal at the time (see Pat Kaleta's latest penance). It's almost like the NHL wants to emulate 16th century England.



Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

All of this is just showing how bad the refs are in the NHL.  The league needs a serious review of the Ref's as this continues all across the league that horrible calls are made and not made, everyone has commented about what game are they watching yet our great commissioner continues to say how great the refs have done their job. 

OK I agree they have  a tough job but their actions seem to give them very little credibility to the fan base when you see things like this not called.  They are getting worse in the non-calls and the ticky tacky stuff they do call, and they miss the big stuff, perhaps they should not call all the small stuff and focus on the really flagrant calls they always seem to miss.

It is just awful and they are beginning to ruin the game itself no hocky fan wants to see this stuff not called, and see the refs act as if nothing happened.  I am going to start suggesting replay calls if this continues.



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 4:35 am
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

Crosby=: If you watch closely, Letang definitely knew the hit was coming. Even the broadcast booth picked up on that. He decided what the hell, I'm gonna take the shot anyway. In years past and prior, as you put it, players were not stupid enough to put themselves in such a vulnerable position. But the league will have to figure out this season what the rules are going to be and how to interpret them. I predict Crosby is going to start getting hit hard again, for example, now that the honeymoon of his return is over. He likes to dish it out, and as Cherry said (whom I detest), if he'd just play the game, no problem, but if he wants to be chippy, he'll get hammered in return. And it's what happens to the star players that ultimately determines this type of rule change.
I said the exact same thing about Ben Smith when Brendan Smith checked him and got a 5 game suspension:



Again, tell me how this is any different. If the league wants credibility, it will have to be more consistent than it has been thus far.

Not sure what Crosby has to do with this. Crosby was checked several times in his first game back and has been in back-and-forth scraps in every game since then, so I have no idea what you're talking about. Crosby plays with an edge (call it "chippy" if you want) and has never wanted, needed, expected or received special treatment, Cherry is an idiot hater who needs to be put out to pasture - don't buy the garbage he is trying to sell you.



Since: Oct 19, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:37 pm
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

PS Clear elbow to head with intent - suspension for sure.  Pac a thug.



Since: Oct 19, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:35 pm
 

Call 911!

I assume there will be a police investigation right? 



Since: Oct 19, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

Poor eric, jealous much?   Best team there is.  Get over it.



Since: Apr 30, 2008
Posted on: November 27, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

Bruins suck.  From Lyndon Byers to Rick Middleton to Nevin Markwart to Keith Crowder to Brad Marchand, you all suck. 



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

The writer talks like the puck was "secure" for an eternity. It was under his leg for a whole half second or so. Meanwhile, his leg wasn't directly on it. The puck was visible the entire time, which by no means fits the word secure. The refs are under no obligation to stop play unless they lose sight of the puck, which wasn't the case here. If I could see it on my TV screen, I have no doubt they could see it while standing right there. Move on, the better team won and it's a long season.



Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: November 27, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Pacioretty, Letang and controversy in Montreal

Crosby=: If you watch closely, Letang definitely knew the hit was coming. Even the broadcast booth picked up on that. He decided what the hell, I'm gonna take the shot anyway. In years past and prior, as you put it, players were not stupid enough to put themselves in such a vulnerable position. But the league will have to figure out this season what the rules are going to be and how to interpret them. I predict Crosby is going to start getting hit hard again, for example, now that the honeymoon of his return is over. He likes to dish it out, and as Cherry said (whom I detest), if he'd just play the game, no problem, but if he wants to be chippy, he'll get hammered in return. And it's what happens to the star players that ultimately determines this type of rule change.


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