I’ve refrained from commenting on The Call, delaying until I can think of something intelligent to say. As I’ve told you, I am an official and a member of the club. But what the heck, I’ll put out a few things here.
First, from my seat I had a pretty good view of the play. I found myself saying out loud that the Jackets had too many men on the ice, but I don’t think anyone could hear me at Nationwide last night. And I agree that it was the proper call, a text-book example of the penalty. There is no question in my mind. A linesman is always watching the lines and counting players, so this official would have to go against his training and work ethic to ignore the play.
An interesting point about what happened next is that Dan O’Halloran, the senior official, actually skated up to Steve Miller, the linesman who made the call, and asked him what he called. That tells me that it was so busy out there on the ice and so much was going on that the other members of the crew were not sure what happened. It also meant that Miller was on his own, that none of the other members of his crew clearly saw the penalty and would not be much support for Miller. That is not unusual, but it is always nice to have your crew mates be able to say that they saw everything and fully agree with your call.
I read a few comments today that mentioned a high stick by a Red Wing. I think I saw that too, but it doesn’t matter because as soon as a Blue Jacket touched the puck, the high stick call was waved off.
As for the Hudson Bay rules, yeah, they were being played, but those rules don’t mean you let off sides, icing, and other non-physical calls go.
And I read lots of comments about how bad the bottle throwing was and it is not defensible. Period. But as Mike Babcock said in his post-game press conference, Detroit fans also threw bottles in anger during their last game of the season against Chicago in reaction to the Dustin Byfuglien penalty shot. Babcock personally walked over to the Chicago dressing room after that game to apologize.
Did The Call affect the outcome of the game last night? Certainly. But it is history.