November 19, 2009

How to Explain the Inexplicable: You Can't. So Fix It. ...

"The way we've always handled it and the way we will continue to handle it until we have a procedure change is the referees call on the ice stands. He sees the shot and he sees the save and doesn't see the puck in the net and kills the play or blows the whistle," Murphy said. "It's not when you hear the whistle blow, it's when he intends to blow the whistle. There is a little bit of a gray area there between when he intends and when the whistle sounds.

"In this case Dennis LaRue was clear with what he saw and clear with what he interpreted and that was, 'I had killed the play before the puck entered the net.' When we scrutinize it and go through video review I think everybody would concede that the puck was in the net, and Dennis didn't see that unfortunately."

That's Senior VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy, sounding more like Larry Murphy trying to explain long division.

Last year, when many of us were introduced to "Intent to Blow" during the Anaheim series, I could at least process it, kind of. I could see that Brad Watson had already imagined the play to be dead, and because there hasn't been an invention yet that magically allows for a whistle to blow simultaneously as a referee thinks it, they want what's in the ref's brain to be the dictator of the action. I think that's fucking stupid, but I can at least understand what they're saying without agreeing with it.

In this case, Dennis LaRue unintentionally* makes up something in his head that didn't actually happen, which is apples-to-oranges in comparison to the Watson Saga: he concluded that Auld made a save with his left pad, the puck was under it, and the play was dead.

* (I don't own a tin foil hat)

Here's my favorite part: According to Murphy's explination of how these matters are handled, somebody in Toronto (probably this guy) saw what happened and said, "Whoooaa, fellas, looks like we had one slip by Dennis, let's give him a call"; then they tell him how the reality of things was actually the opposite of what LaRue interpreted; and then LaRue -- with an opportunity to see or be told that no save occured in the first place -- overrules everything by claiming that what he imagined to have happened initially holds greater power than what actually happened.



Animal Drew said...

I picture the Toronto War Room as the US Government in that South Park episode where they cut the head off a chicken and let it run around until it lands on something.

Then, they stay up all night thinking of an explanation for why they came up with their answer. Mike Murphy is just the poor sap who has to present whatever dogsh*t excuse they can come up with.

Oh and I've decided to start posting the word verification from now on, because some of them are kind of funny.


Chris in Hockey Hell said...

I've been reading blog posts on this all day between here, A2Y, and NOHS. I had yet to post on what happened last night until now, because I've been too pissed off about it to construct a coherent thought about this. To me, this goes beyond the Wings. Am I pissed that we got hosed on something like this AGAIN? Hells yeah I am, but I've decided to take another road with my anger. As far as the officiating in this League goes, this has got to stop. All of it. The "intent to blow" bullshit, the phantom calls, all of it. It's got to stop. It's high time someone come in, drop the politically correct bullshit, and say what all of us as fans already know. That things at the top of the NHL are FUCKED UP. That call last night cannot be made, it can't. LaRue missed it the first time, fine. I did too. There's replay for a reason. It was a goal, plain and simple. Daly says that the "intent" rule has a grey area in it. Take the grey area out by taking the discretion away from the refs. No whistle, keep digging for the puck. I've played hockey for a long time, and was always taught that you play to the whistle. That has to be the benchmark for how a ruling is made in a situation like last night's. I thought the play was dead? Good fucking God! Okay, I think I'm done.


Anonymous said...

Full disclosure: I hate the Red Wings with every fiber of my being. Seriously. If a giant flaming meteor fell from the sky onto the Joe in the middle of the season opener and killed everyone inside, I'd consider it a net positive for the league and the game.

That said? This "intent to blow" thing is weapons-grade bullshit. It was bullshit in the playoffs last year, and it's still bullshit today.

Dwebb said...

Why doesn't the NHL throw the refs under the bus from time to time. According to the NHL, the referees have never errored. The ref intended to blow the whistle like Auld intended to stop the puck. This why they have goal judges and isn't it moronic to have someone sitting in toronto to review the play can the NHL not pony up for monitors and equipment in each building so an official is on site. But like everything else with the NHL and Bettman they want to be above reproach and everything is wonderful when about 25% of the teams are tanking.

The guy who comes up with this stuff said...


First off, Great work on the blog. Amazing shit. The good kind of shit, not the kind that went on in last nights sham.

I work for the station that aired the game in Detroit, so first hand I can tell you hat when this travesty happened, everyone was shocked. I'm not even sure words can be put into a coherent theory on how this is acceptable. The video replay is IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE that the puck went across the line. Why isn't there a challenge that Toronto use to override the Refs? I mean, this is why we had goal judges in the first place! I got so pissed when they called it off, I'm pretty sure my skull has cracks from where my brain tried to escape to hop a bus and murder LaRue. The guy even looks like a jerk who would wave it off like that. Like a dad who knows that he's the one who drank all the beer, but blames it on his kid that he mooches too much. I work in a TV Studio environment for the game and I about lost my mind because it was RETARDED! And who the F&*K is Mike Murphy? Never even heard of the guy, much less his title. There needs to be reform the second he said "Gray Area". There should be no F-ing gray area in this sport, especially when the puck goes into the net CLEARLY. And you heard it for yourself. I could sculpt a marble statue of a Kodiak Bear ravaging the corpse of Bettman with Tenacious D standing next to it screaming "EXPLOSIVO!" in the amount of time it was between the puck going into the net and when he actually blew the whistle. "Intent"? How about I have "Intent" to never trust the officiating ever, on this basis alone. LaRue should be suspended and/or fined for this crap. It's a sport, not a "Call whatever you feel like because you're going through your period and the store ran out of midol" Parade.

I love this sport so much, but this is a major blow to how the league is managed and viewed. I just want to put on my helmet from 300 and storm the NHL front office and punish all of the idiots. But let's hope the General Managers submit a 30-0 vote on the impeachment of Gary "Im on my knees, blowing it" Bettman.

Anonymous said...

Jeff OKWingnut

Leave it to Gary to get me off the Fire McCrimmon bandwagon.

This shit has got to stop now.

I can imagine me making a pitch like Murphy to some judge. I get the "are you fuching serious look", then I'd probably get yelled at, then a few hours to think about it in jail.

Fox said...

Interesting perspective. LaRue has been a thorn in the ass of the team I support since they entered the league ... over the years, many a screw job has been laid at Denny's feet. Worse still the OOOOOO! games from the early two-ref days, when we'd get Magoo (errrr, McGeough)/LaRue.

He was a disgrace in 1991, and he's still a disgrace now ... that said, half or more of the refs in the league are somehow as bad or worse. Maybe no one is nimble enough to keep up with today's game by the time they figure out how to ref it -- like it takes RB skills and 10 years in at the same time.

In all of those years, I can recall LaRue egregiously jobbing the Wings in the Sharks' favor only a few times, and I believe that Dino Ciccarelli was the victim each time. Did you all have a hate on for the guy before now?

Triple Deke Staff said...

@ Fox

Interesting comment. I am not one to memorize officials unless something sticks out (Brad Watson, LaRue), or somebody has a ridiculously badass mustache (McCreary), so until two days ago I have to admit that I've never heard of the guy.

- Tyler

J.J. from Kansas said...

Yeah, LaRue is definitely on the list of refs I now know by name. Beforehand, I wouldn't have paid attention if it name had been mentioned in the pregame. Now, if LaRue and Watson ever tandem-ref a Wings game, I probably won't even bother watching.

I, also am familiar with McCreary's 'stache. Finally, I recognize Kerry Frasier because some time in the past, somebody cut a video of him falling down with the epic boxing announcer yelling "AND DOWN GOES FRAZIER!"