Turning the Page
I often like Cam Cole, but his latest really gives me the pip. I suppose Cole can be forgiven for buying the media narrative of the Stanley Cup Finals given that he was part of the pack of inkstained wretches who penned that narrative. I think it was nonsense myself, but Cole has to buy it. Okay, I get that, but can’t he let it go? He’s decided the Canucks need an attitude adjustment because they don’t buy it.
What is it that the Canucks don’t buy?
It’s a question, really, about whether the Canucks recognized then, or see more clearly now upon a summer’s reflection, how they so plainly got themselves on the wrong side of the law in the first three games against the Boston Bruins, and spent the rest of the series paying for it.
What exactly did they do to get themselves so plainly on the wrong side of the law? It was mostly media bullshit. There was nothing particularly remarkable about the behaviour of the Canucks in the first three games. Certainly nothing that is not seen frequently in the NHL. I don’t have any problems if the Canucks refuse to accept Cam Cole’s premise. I don’t accept it.
More importantly, if this is indeed a real explanation for the disgraceful officiating – that the referees, embarassed by the Canucks and the ridiculous media narrative reacted by refusing to call very obvious and very vicious penalties – Cole should have blasted the officiating (and the league) then and he should continue to blast them now. That explanation strikes directly at the integrity of the game. Out of spite, the officials deliberately favoured the Bruins?
At the time the hockey media excused the officials for failing to call obvious penalties. Why? Because the Canucks got on the wrong side of the law, and because everybody hated them, it was okay for the refs to allow hockey – the Stanley Cup Final! – to degenerate into a vicious disgrace. Even if one gulps and swallows all the media canards about the Canucks it absolutely, positively does not excuse the referees. What kind of game does Cole want hockey to be?
He quotes Alex Burrows:
“I don’t know what outside people are saying about what happened against Boston, but we gave it everything we had and came one game short. We were really close, Boston played well, we had tons of injuries. I don’t know. We’re not going to blame the refs or focus on what people think of us. It’s a new year.”
I’m with Burrows. I’m not going to blame the officials for the loss either because I prefer to believe that in the end, the Canucks lost because they ran out of healthy players. Turn the page. On with a new year.
That’s healthy. No attitude adjustment required.
Postscript: Speaking of the officials, the Brendan Shanahan disciplinary videos have been getting great reviews for transparency yada, yada, yada. What nonsense. It isn’t like Colin Campbell didn’t explain his controversial decisions. He didn’t release a spiffy video, but he always said about as much as Shanahan said about the hits he’s adjudicated.
Anybody see any difference in the play yet? As always, the NHL is inching imperceptively in the right direction. Hurrah!