The Anaheim Ducks decided to be the Anaheim Ducks after their Game 5 loss to the Nashville Predators, roughing up an undermanned (i.e. shorthanded) team out of pure frustration.
Some of that frustration stemmed from unfortunate circumstances – specious officiating, an injury to starting goalie John Gibson – and some of it stemmed from the team’s blown opportunity to take out a Predators team missing two centers, including their headliner, and send them to the brink of elimination. Which is quite a blown opportunity.
Here’s the chaos:
This led to six roughing calls and two game misconducts, one for Vern Fiddler, one for Corey Perry. But it’s Perry that’s gotten the attention after Saturday’s game, thanks to this incident with referee Dan O’Rourke.
— Fang Fingers (@FangFingersTN) May 21, 2017
As you can see, Perry and Fiddler are near the benches. O’Rourke is trying to keep the peace. Fiddler keep jabbing at him, and that’s when Perry tries to break free of the referee. He then lands a glove on Fiddler, who sells it like Ric Flair.
This has sparked some suspension talk, because of the way Rule 40.4 is worded.
“…or who deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.” In the video below, Perry is clearly seen trying to break free of referee Dan O’Roarke on multiple occasions.
Will that earn a suspension? As Scouting The Refs note:
Automatic suspension only applies when abuse of officials called in game. Likely not enough to justify suspension; likely a warning https://t.co/R96C7hSu0w
— Scouting The Refs (@ScoutingTheRefs) May 21, 2017
The NHL is probably going to see this as a heat of the moment thing that’s on the cusp of abuse but doesn’t cross that line. One assumes Perry’s in the lineup for Game 6, if no other reason that Game 6 could be the last game of the Anaheim Ducks’ season.
Hey, if they’re not suspending Ryan Getzlaf for a playoff game for a remark that’s “demeaning and disrespectful, and crossed the line into behavior that we deem unacceptable,” they’re not dinging Perry.
(A word about the Getzlaf fine: I get the idea that not all words are created equally, and what Andrew Shaw said is not what Ryan Getzlaf said. That’s fair. But what Ryan Getzlaf said wasn’t reported by the NHL, nor was it mentioned to whom he said it. Which led to rampant speculation and debate and criticism after the fine was announced. It’s insane that the NHL deems language so reprehensible that it will levy a maximum fine, but won’t actually state what the word was, which would ACTUALLY SIGNAL to the league’s fans what’s inappropriate going forward. It’s so counterproductive. But it’s the NHL and Colin Campbell, so…)
If Perry plays in Game 6, here’s the larger issue: Perry roughs up a ref. Getzlaf calls one a “rooster vacuum” – see, NHL? – in Game 4 and gets a fine for it. GM Bob Murray was on the warpath earlier in the series about the referees behind the scenes.
Game 5 was not a game officiated in the Ducks’ favor. What does all of this Ducks vs. refs stuff portend for Game 6?
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