The Hitting Zone

The NHL just makes it up as they go along, why can't we?

This Is Why The Refs Don’t Call Diving

Look, I detest Steve Downie as a hockey player.  He is to me what Matt Cooke is to so many other fans.  He’s a dirty agitator.  That means he’s probably doing his job by my own logic but he’s irritating me when he does it, so I don’t like him.  Anyway, late in the 2nd period of Game 4 in the Eastern Conference final Boston’s Nathan Horton takes the play to the end boards with Downie and a hit ensues.  Downie flops to the ice and the official, standing right there, makes a Diving call on Downie in addition to the Roughing call on Horton.

Downie didn’t return to the game.  His penalty had to be served by Adam Hall as Downie was being assessed by the medical staff.  Bolts coach Guy Boucher stated after the game that Downie was “day to day starting today”.  This is why NHL officials are really reluctant to ring a guy up for a dive.

The officials have egg on their face here and if 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic showed me anything about officials it is that they sure don’t like to be upstaged or wrong about something.  Downie’s reputation carried some weight with the assessment of the Diving minor but in the 20/20 vision of the rear view mirror this is the perfect evidence case of why NHL officials don’t make the diving calls we all constantly clamor for in the regular season.   What if they get it wrong?  What if the guy is actually hurt?  What if they “diver” cannot continue play?

Tim Peel is the referee who whistled Downie for the “dive”.  Keep an eye on the next time he makes that call on any player in the future.  It’ll be a rare bird.  Steve Downie is a jerk and in a regular season game he might be a big enough jerk to sit out just to make a ref look bad.  However this is the playoffs, he is an impact player, and every team mate in the room would really question his character if he pulled any kind of crap with the officials while his team is in a position to tie a Conference Final.

Written by ozman51

May 22, 2011 at 7:00 AM

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