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Big Day in Philadelphia:

Forget Obama-Clinton. The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Washington Capitals in overtime in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series. This is the first time the Flyers have won a playoff series since 2004 (a long time for Philly fans), and an amazing rebound for a team that had the worst record last season.

alias:
Worst officiating ever.
4.23.2008 8:51am
Justin (mail):
Agree with alias - if you are Philly, first star goes to the ref.
4.23.2008 10:31am
iwg2:
A second concurrence with Alias. Pathetic to see a game decided by the zebras.
4.23.2008 10:38am
Klick (mail) (www):
right . . . 2 obvious trips in OT and they call only the second one. Hell, the Caps coach himself said it was the right call.

As for big day in Philly, Phils pulled one out too, and the sixers are (admittedly improbably) up 1-0 against the Pistons.
4.23.2008 10:43am
Terrivus:
Neither should have been called. This is NHL playoff hockey, not a tea party. Weak way to end the game.
4.23.2008 11:03am
iwg2:
Absolutely. They call the second "trip" OT, but not the blatant goalie interference in the 2nd?

Philly got by with one, but their run will be short lived.
4.23.2008 11:06am
guest:
Boooooo. Terrible non-call on that goalie interference play. Ref swallowed the whistle on that one ... but managed to find it again in OT.
4.23.2008 11:13am
Alan P (mail):

Neither should have been called. This is NHL playoff hockey, not a tea party. Weak way to end the game


A penalty is a penalty whenever it occurs. It is nonsense to say let them play because the referee should not decide the game. He decides the game just as much by not calling a penalty, (thus allowing illegal acts to take precedence) as by calling em as he sees em, the best he is able.
4.23.2008 11:46am
Bretzky (mail):
Alan P:


A penalty is a penalty whenever it occurs. It is nonsense to say let them play because the referee should not decide the game. He decides the game just as much by not calling a penalty, (thus allowing illegal acts to take precedence) as by calling em as he sees em, the best he is able.

I wholeheartedly agree. Not only does putting the whistle away favor one team over the team, it almost always favors the less talented one.

Just look at Super Bowl XXXVI. The refs swallowed their whistles in that game and the Patriots' defensive backs did everything except club the Rams' receivers over the head with a two-by-four. Those non-calls gave the Patriots an edge when the Rams were clearly the better team.
4.23.2008 11:57am
The Unbeliever:
Forget Obama-Clinton.

Would that I could. But rumor has it at least one of them will be doing their best to remind us of their presence through November at least...
4.23.2008 12:01pm
Steve:
Overtime in Game 7 is as good as it gets in sports.
4.23.2008 12:33pm
JB:
Speaking of refs putting away their whistles, the same might be said for Dean and the DNC. One can dispute whether they're doing the right thing, and who should win, but their inaction has let the less talented team hang in there for rather a long time...
4.23.2008 12:35pm
Justin (mail):
Golden Goal in the WC would be just as good, Steve, if they went back to it, and got rid of penalties.
4.23.2008 12:44pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
A bunch of us Philly-native lawyers were at a bar in Albuquerque watching the game last night. There were about 75-100 people in the bar and the 4 of us made more noise than the rest of the place combined. It was great. Or, in the words of Gary Dornhoffer, "How sweeeeeeeet it is!"

As for the officiating, that's how it works in the NHL playoffs. The commenters above must be new to the game.

Let's Go Flyers!
4.23.2008 12:50pm
Terrivus:
A penalty is a penalty whenever it occurs. It is nonsense to say let them play because the referee should not decide the game. He decides the game just as much by not calling a penalty, (thus allowing illegal acts to take precedence) as by calling em as he sees em, the best he is able.

It's not about calling penalties vel non during the entire game. It's about calling them during overtime in a hockey playoff, when EVERYONE, including the players, knows and has the expectation (long acknowledged in hockey) that the threshold for calling penalties is much higher in overtime (esp. playoffs) than in regular periods. And that second "trip" didn't reach that threshold. (If anything, the first one was closer -- and certainly your concept of "call 'em as you see 'em" fair officiating shouldn't encompass "make-up" calls for missed initial calls.)

Speaking of refs putting away their whistles, the same might be said for Dean and the DNC.

Who invited this guy?
4.23.2008 12:53pm
hawkins:

As for the officiating, that's how it works in the NHL playoffs. The commenters above must be new to the game.


The officiating is always inconsistent during the playoffs?
4.23.2008 1:12pm
Realist Liberal:
In even more important news the San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames in the first game 7 played in San Jose. The officiating was almost as bad in the end as at the end of the Philly game. Luckily the non-calls were penalties against Calgary so the refs lack knowing where their whistles were did not actually affect the outcome.
4.23.2008 1:29pm
alias:

As for the officiating, that's how it works in the NHL playoffs. The commenters above must be new to the game.

I'm hardly new to the game. I've seen bad officiating before in the playoffs, but never quite that bad and never as decisive as it was in that game. Part of competitive sports is accepting unlucky bounces of the puck (e.g. Lidstrom's goal against Nashville over the weekend), bad calls that turn out to matter, etc. But I was at the game against the Flyers, and the refereeing was worse than I can remember seeing. The non-call on Thoresen and the penalty in overtime were both BS, and they pretty clearly cost the Capitals the game.

It's fine to accept defeat when your team was outplayed, or when a close series that could have gone either way ultimately goes against your team because of a few bounces of the puck. That's part of the bittersweet experience of being a sports fan, and you can just hope for a better result the following year. When the referees are the deciding factor, though, it just leaves you angry, I think.

Such is life. Not the first time or the last.

But I wish professional sports leagues' administrations wouldn't defend referees to the death like the Iraq Information Minister during the invasion. I understand fining coaches and players for trashing the officials, but just once I'd like to hear a commissioner say "We're not fining coach X because he's absolutely right."
4.23.2008 2:58pm
College Law:
Definitely interference on the second goal, but it's a moot point because the Wings will win it all in the end.
4.23.2008 4:09pm
hattio1:
Wasn't it the Flyers in that game in 2000 or 2001 that went like 7 overtimes or something. I think the whole game was over 7 and 1/2 hours? Not a hockey fan, but I would bet this feels especially sweet to Flyers fans if I'm right about that.
4.23.2008 6:05pm
Pete Freans (mail):
If you recall (as suggested by other bloggers) the refs overlooked another trip earlier in the OT but the Capitals didn't learn their lesson.

I can't wait until Briere steps onto the ice in Montreal. It appears that Les Habitants continue to hold a grudge against Briere for signing with the Flyers instead of the Canadiens. I should brush up on my French from High School...how do you say "the Flyers will mop the ice with the Habs"?
4.23.2008 7:58pm
Brian G (mail) (www):

The officiating is always inconsistent during the playoffs?


The officiating sucks! in the playoffs. I am long since used to it. A few years ago, Terry Gregson called a penalty against the Flyers with about 2 minutes in a scoreless game. The Maple Leafs scored, and the series was over.


Wasn't it the Flyers in that game in 2000 or 2001 that went like 7 overtimes or something. I think the whole game was over 7 and 1/2 hours? Not a hockey fan, but I would bet this feels especially sweet to Flyers fans if I'm right about that.


That was May 2000, and my sister and I drove from Philly to Pittsburgh that day to see the game. It ended at about 2:45 a.m. It was nuts! I'll never forget it.
4.23.2008 8:05pm
Bretzky (mail):
Pete Freans:

The literal translation is:

Les Flyers épongeront la glace avec les Habs.


Although there's probably an idiomatic expression that is a better translation.
4.24.2008 12:37am
Visitor Again:
I should brush up on my French from High School...how do you say "the Flyers will mop the ice with the Habs"?

Right, even with all the luck in the world, the Flyers fall in game 1 in overtime.
4.25.2008 7:54am