Blackout Games Really Grind My Gears
NHL rivals Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks go at it during the playoffs. Photo by Ben Margot/ AP Photo.

I’m not sure what it is about the Vegas Golden Knights (VGK) that irk people, but I’m over it. I get it if you are a fan of a rival team, but to be an official and still be biased is just wrong. This is the second straight Stanley Cup Playoffs where the officials have made extremely questionable calls (or no calls).

Now I get it; I am a fan of VGK that is ranting about bad calls made towards the team. But if my team messes up and fouls someone, then yes, call them out on it. They’re professionals and should know the rules. But let’s take a look back on the 2019 Stanley Cup playoff series against the Sharks.

It’s game seven, and VGK is winning in the third period 3-0. After the faceoff, Joe Pavelski gets checked. He can’t stay on his feet; Cody Eakin is already skating in that direction after the puck. Next thing you know, Pavelski is on the ice and bleeding.

Now I admit, call a penalty. But a five minute major on Pavelski? No. Eakin was trying to skate towards the puck, and Pavelski couldn’t stay on his feet after a minor check.

As we all know, this led to the Sharks tying the game up and eventually winning in overtime. Should VGK have let in that many goals with a 3-0 lead? No. But bad officiating was a massive factor in this.

Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser later apologized for the indecisive lousy call, as well as the league who disagreed with the official ruling.

It’s great that they apologized, but now we can fast forward to this year’s playoffs to see the continuous bad calls still being made.

Bring yourself to the Edmonton bubble- VGK vs. the Vancouver Canucks. All you have to do is watch the games to see the fact that there have been some questionable calls. In-game four, VGK finished with five penalties called on them and only two for the Canucks. The refs, for some reason, don’t like Jonathan Marchessault.

You can look back at game five where a VGK player gets cross-checked in the back, but nothing gets called. On the flip side of this, as much as Antonie Roussel is pissing me off, I don’t think 10-minute misconduct for chirping and hugging Ryan Reaves was the right move. Roussel is too chicken to fight Reaves so that nothing would’ve happened.

Also, just all across the board, the refs need to be more consistent about icing calls.

If it’s a penalty, then call it. But the refs shouldn’t be favoring which teams get the calls. It’s their job to be unbiased and call the game for what it is, even if it is against my team.

If the refs keep the attitude that Patrick Sharp has against VGK, this is going to be a long road ahead of them.