Pens Do All They Can for a Point against Jackets, Refs

Zach RockwellContributor IMarch 12, 2009

The Pittsburgh Penguins seven-game win streak was halted by the up-tempo play of the Columbus Blue Jackets and poor calls by the referees. 

Prior to the third period, the Pens had been on only one power play (in the first), and even then only for a few seconds—that is, until Chris Kunitz got called for a blatant high stick to Jackets' captain Rick Nash. 

All the penalties that were called on the Pens, other than the high stick by Kunitz, were ticky-tacky and most unwarranted. 

Maxime Talbot was the only one that went to the box after hitting someone who was egging him on. It was my understanding that the "instigator" rule was back in effect, which would mean that the Jackets' unknown player should have gone to the box as well.  Maybe the instigator rule isn't coming back until next season—who knew? 

That's the only reason that I can think of for that call not being made. 

In addition to this miscall, there were many others that were not called: slashing, interference, roughing, etc. All were against Columbus.

It was blatantly obvious that the refs, prior to the third, were not trying to call a fair game. It was so obvious that my mom, who knows next to nothing about hockey penalties, was yelling at the television.

It was like the the Jackets could have gotten away with murder (cliche, I know), which is what Columbus' defenseman Mike Commodore was trying to do. 

Immediately after Pascal Dupuis scored the Pens' second goal, who comes in to knock him to his feet?  Mike Commodore. 

As Evgeni Malkin is coming down the middle, who interferes with him?  Mike Commodore. 

Who, on the same play, continues to tangle up Malkin and run his jaw into the crossbar behind goalie Steve Mason?  Mike Commodore, who gets away scot-free on all three of these occurrences.  The last one should have elicited an ejection from the game, at least.

I know of three NHL referees who deserve to lose their jobs.

Watch the game again, and you'll see all three.