HERE IS THE POST. This poster nails it, he's objective and doesn't just focus on penalties called against the Flyers. He points out how the officials RUINED the flow of the game for both teams. You could just tell the players had no idea HOW to play the game or what would or wouldn't be called. The 10-3 score itself was clearly affected by the officials.
Last night was one of those league scripted games ...
Now, let me make this abundantly clear........THE FLYERS DID NOT LOSE LAST NIGHT BECAUSE OF THE REFEREES. They played horrible hockey from start to finish and were outplayed by the Pens at every turn.
But let's take a closer look at what the league did last night:
1. Game 3 of the series was a violence filled game that was probably the most entertaining Flyers game in the past decade. Non-hockey fans were even starting to watch and raving about Sunday's games. The game drew record viewership ratings on NBC. The problem.....clearly, the league does not want that type of product on the ice.
2. Chris Lee, a referee consistently voted worst in the league by the players, is assigned by the league to work last night's game. Lee has been an NHL referee for 11 years and worked a grand total of 4 playoff games. Anyone who has ever seen him knows he thinks everyone in the building is there to see him call penalties. Clearly, the league told the two referees to call anything and everything going into the game.
The game starts and the penalty fest begins. Here is my breakdown of the calls:
Sullivan - high stick - probably legit but a bit ticky-tack. He got his stick up on Giroux in the middle of the ice.
Malkin - hooking - Horrible. A slight jab to Couturier off the face off that was nothing.
Coburn - holding - Horrible. A completely made up call.
Rinaldo - interference - Horrible. The puck was right at Engelland's feet when he hit him.
Kunitz - Interference - Horrible. The game was in the process of being ruined at this point, and since they called 2 penalties on the Flyers, it was even it up time.
Orpik - cross check - Horrible. He pushed Briere in the back with his stick and Danny acted like he had been shot by someone in the stands.
Cooke - high stick - Never saw it so I can't comment either way. Cooke went crazy so this was probably horrible as well.
Carle - interference - See Cooke penalty above
At the end of the first, there had been 8 minor penalties called and the entire game was being played with one of the teams shorthanded. There was maybe 1 legitimate call made. Also of note is Chris Lee watched Grossmann take a clear head shot from Kennedy right in front of him and called nothing. At this point, the game was in the process of being ruined, but you just hoped they would stop calling penalties.
No such luck.
Giroux - high stick - Horrible. Nobody on the ice had any clue what the penalty was or who it was on.
Grossmann - trip - Legit
Carle - holding the stick - Possibly the worst call of the night which is saying something. The Pens had the lead and the refs just kept giving them PP's at this point.
Read - roughing - Laughable. The game is now the Chris Lee show.
Park - interference - Horrible.Giroux fell more to avoid running into the crossbar than anything Park did.
Flyers - too many men to offset the interference call - Call made after a 5 minute delay to discuss. No replays ever shown. Who knows.
Rinaldo - cross check - Borderline but understandable given the score
Rinaldo - rough- Legit
Rinaldo - 10 minute misconduct, game misconduct - Just making things up at this point. I've watched hockey for about 28 years and never saw a guy get tossed for a double minor
At this point I exited the Wells Fargo Center and that was the last action I saw. No clue what happened in the 3rd period.
In summary, Lee and McCauley called 16 minor penalties in the first 2 periods..........a chance for 32 minutes of special teams hockey out of 40 minutes played (80% of the game). The first two periods featured more minor penalties called than both of the first two games combined (16 vs 10), and nearly as many calls as the first 3 games combined (16 vs 18 when you disregard the matching minors in game 3).
Clearly, after the giant success that game 3 was in selling the sport and actually getting people to watch, the league did everything in their power to end that immediately.
And just to be clear (and I think people here understand this), I would feel the exact same way if the Flyers had won 10-3 rather than the Pens. That game was a travesty manipulated and created by the referees and the NHL.
And to make all matters worse Chris Lee missed the most obvious flying elbow by Malkin (should be suspended but he's a "star") in the first period: