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Why does NHL officiating change the way it applies rules in the playoffs?

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It's the playoffs in MLB - the strike zone is now smaller, and you can interfere with baserunners.

It's the playoffs in the NBA - you can have three steps now before we call travelling, and only flagrant fouls will be called.

It's the playoffs in the NFL - and pass-interference, clipping and late hits on quarterbacks are now permitted.

Sounds ridiculous doesn't it?

Rules are rules and why should they, or the way the are applied, change in the playoffs?

Because it's the NHL, and it's the playoffs.


It's the playoffs in the NHL - and we are lowering the standards of play with respect to the rules, and the consistency expected of officials.

Why? Rules and their consistent application is the most important element in fairness. Aren't you risking the integrity of the game and reducing the reputation of the league and officials - at a time when it matters most, the playoffs?

It's the NHL. That's the way things are in the NHL.... because... that'st the way things are in the NHL...

Rationalize it any way you want NHL; it is bush league.

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Dude ! I feel your pain, but really it is time to move past this . I even agree to some extent there is a clear bias in the NHL but the series is over . Boston's D mangled our forwards and cluttered up the passing lanes with bodies and sticks, preventing our forwards from ever really getting multiple quality scoring chances. Add Thomas and his stellar play coupled with horrific officiating made it a tough hill to climb.

I say focus on the positive , look forward to us keeping most of our core players and build on the FACT that many recent teams have come back from losing in the SCF to winning it all the very next season. I live in Calgary and just today at a gas station a fan wearing a Bruins championship T-shirt and I had a great conversation. I congratulated him and he was praising VAN and our effort . He felt we were screwed on many calls . I could not believe my ears ? He was baffled over the 7 punches to Daniel's head as well as noting that Rome's hit on Horton was as clean as it gets. We both agreed the Bruins played the dirtier, grittier game and that is what it takes to win . I was over joyed to see a knowledgeable fan that was as passionate and open minded about the games as I was.

True fans know the game and how it really goes. You win some, you lose some and there is always next season.


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I hear what you're saying vanfan73. There are a lot of positives to look forward to and I really like the way the Canucks play the game. The Canucks have built a team to win in the new NHL and the league renegs - I'm not trying to sound sour grapes over it, but I think there is an issue the NHL should address, however, in saying so, I am not trying to take anything away from Boston - as I have said elsewhere, they did what they needed to do to win and you can't fault them for it - they are a great team that deserves credit. And now I will go throw on some Wailers and focus on positive vibrations...

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Trust me , the hockey God's cannot forsake us for eternity. This team is primed for a cup and I feel we are still the team and system to beat. I hope and pray every minute that the NHL pulls it 's head out of it's ..... and realizes that fans can only tolerate so much incompetence by the officials . I mean in other countries referees are shot for making bad calls in Soccer ! It is only matter of time before a disgruntled fans takes matters into his own crazy hands. Or a player finally says enough is enough and takes it out on an official on the ice ( man would that be a site !) . You and I and hockey fans world wide just want the refs to let them play and call it both ways. That is all we ask NHL , not to hard I hope ?

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Having thought about it for a couple of months I really can't blame the Sedins. As one of them said "An NFL player commented that the NHL is the only professional league that, during the playoffs, appears to change the way the rules of the game are applied." Are fans aware of this? Based on published comments they appear to be seeing it on a regular basis. And involving teams other than the Canucks. But that may be bias in support of a team rather than valid commentary regarding NHL refereeing in general. But one does have to wonder if the refs are really allowed to make completely independent decisions that influence the outcome of games or series. They are, after all, employees of the league so one would assume that the league provides guidance on when rules can be bent and which rules can be bent. What I do find contradictory is how there is immense attention given to establishing the legitimacy of each goal but referees are given absolute discretion regarding the assessment of penalties for on-ice infractions. This seems to suggest that goals and penalties are rated differently in importance but this ignores the fact that penalties and goals are frequently interconnected, especially when the imposition of one leads to the other. As occurs about fifteen to twenty percent of the time according to statistics. I wonder if the disrespectful actions, pawing and poking and face washing and cross checks after the play etc., that the Canucks suffered through this spring when playing Boston, were equally evident in the finals for the previous two, three or four years. I suppose only the people watching at Hockey Control can provide the answer. But would they? Whenever things like this start to bother me I try to remember that the NHL is a corporate entity and corporate entities attempt to maximize profits and extend longevity. Could this be a factor in why a Canadian team hasn't won the Stanley Cup since the early 1990's? It's a recognized reality that Canadian teams, even though they don't win the cup and may not actually be competitive, have rabid fans and often play to sell-out crowds. I realize this implies that the NHL, as a corporate entity, may be less than unbiased or possibly even slightly selective in the methods it employs to assist teams in achieving desired results. But, hell, I'm most likely completely off base in my thinking. But that niggling little element of doubt regarding the selection and imposition of processes and procedures that influence the success or failure of teams does periodically make an appearance. Particularly when, after the game is over, I find Dan Marouelli offering up evidence of Vancouver infractions that were not penalized. Seemingly to justify non-calls on Boston infractions. League wise, approving this presentation may prove to be a worse call than any of the non-calls. However, there's always next year to look forward to. We must remain optimistic and retain our faith in the notion that perhaps it was not the team but the league that let us down.

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