That Ref's a Jackass

For all the complaints that we’ve heard about the Kings not having any fire, Rob Blake sure isn’t getting any credit for letting his inner Bowlby come out. This didn’t bother me at first, but the more I think about that Phoenix game and Blake's ejection the more pissed I get. Personally, I think the ref is completely, totally, 100% at fault. In a game like hockey, you absolutely not kick a guy out of a game for something he said. Ever. This is hockey. I don’t know what Blake said, but I guarantee you the ref heard worse on his way out for the warm-up skate. I don’t care if Blake said that the ref was being paid by the Coyotes; I don’t care if Blake told him to go fuck himself; I don’t even care if Blake said, "I'm going to take your wife and...[Ed. Note: This is being censored because it’s gross. Seriously, he goes off for like 2 pages. I almost vomited. Wait, I think he's done] ... including the horse!" Guys don’t get kicked out of games in hockey when they fight, but Blake gets the boot because this ref’s delicate sensibilities were hurt by words? Give me a break.

I also think Blake should get a little credit for being the captain of the Kings. If it had been someone like Jack Johnson or Ivanans, I could at least kind of understand because they’re not really allowed to talk to the officials. Blake is, because he’s the captain of the team. Also, and this may not be fair, but I have to believe that Blake deserves a little more credit because he’s a future hall-of-famer with a record for being a pretty decent dude. If Rob Blake tells you you’re fucking up at your job, then you probably are.

This brings me to a larger topic: what the hell is up with refs these days? In just this calendar year, we’ve had a basketball referee challenge a multiple-MVP winner to a fight, a baseball umpire call a player a "piece of shit," a football umpire call a black player "boy," and now this. I think the problem is that around the time athletes started getting endorsement deals and whatnot, they started taking liberties with the officials. The major leagues saw this and tried to curb this behavior. Problem is, now the pendulum is swinging the other way. Instead of asshole athletes taking advantage of their power over refs, now asshole referees are taking advantage of athletes. It is worse when a ref does it, though, because their job is to be impartial. Losing Rob Blake because of some dickhead ref didn’t cost us the game against the Coyotes, but it sure as fuck didn’t help.

(This was written before Blake went all crazy on Matt Cooke, to which I say: Bowlby.)


***

My brother pointed out this quote by Crawford after the Phoenix game, included in the TSN account:

"We knew we would have to dig down and play the other five defencemen [Ed. Note: Stupid Canadians, learn how to spell!] as much as we had to, and it should have served to fire up our group," Crawford said. "In the end, we just didn’t have good enough players."

My brother replied with this:

"There is a reason Jimmy kept talking about how Phoenix was using a 5 man unit to skate the puck up, and that’s because we don't do it. We have too much separation between the forwards and defensemen, and that’s why we get so many odd man attacks against us when our breakout passes get stolen. The defensemen also aren't involved enough coming through the neutral zone or activating in the high slot. When was the last time you saw Lubo rip one in the high slot? All you see is Brad Stuart and Blake shooting from the blue line. And if we don't have "good enough players" to beat Phoenix, then how do we beat San Jose and Buffalo?"

Since he wrote this Lubo got moved back to the right side and responded with his best game of the season against Vancouver. Anyway, I thought this was interesting enough to throw out there.

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