Home > Hockey > Canes: 1 Oilers: 1 McGoo: 1 Leggo: 1

Canes: 1 Oilers: 1 McGoo: 1 Leggo: 1

December 7, 2006

Before the rant begins, hats off to the oilers, they showed up last night.  The canes did for 35 minutes or so, but the Oil was there for 60 minutes, and in my opinion probably would have won regardless of the debacle that was the officiating last night.

The first goal was all Cam’s fault, I know you are 22, but how many times as the Stefan told you not to leave the short side.  On the second Oil goal, McGoo was the lower zone ref, which means he’s responsible for the net and the puck.  Leggo on the other hand is the high official which means he’s responsible for the play away from the puck.  The trip on Williams was about has blatant as they come and Leggo just watched it roll by.  Does Smith still score if Williams isn’t tripped up?  Maybe, but I doubt he even takes the shot because he’s not open and being pressured by a speedy forward.

The third goal I blame squarely on McGoo.  How does that conversation go anyway.  “I’m sorry Mr. Commodore, apparently you have spontaneously started bleeding, but I can’t call anything.” I still don’t get how he didn’t see it, he blew the whistle to stop play because Commodore was injured!  How do I pin the third goal on him you ask?  Discounting the fact is should have been a 4 minute minor, having such a blatant call missed frustrated the canes to no end which in no small way lead to the disarray which Pisani took advantage of. 

Though it burns me that Leggo and McGoo basically handed the game to the Oil, I can’t place all the blame on them.  The power play was anemic, the team looked tired in the third, and the grit was missing. 

I actually feel sad for McGoo (Leggo is not blameless in this though), he’s been reffing for a long time.  Since he’s been around a while he obviously was pretty good at one time.  He must love the game (how do you do it otherwise), but he’s old and he’s slipping.  This is the second game in a row that he’s missing a lot of obvious calls and called things that seasoned announcers can’t find.  The chippy play, the knee call on Williams, and Hedican’s (and probably Commodore’s) high sticks are all directly the fault of McGoo and Leggo not calling stuff throughout the game.  Players are smart, they will take advantage of every loophole and loose interpretation in the rules, that’s what they are paid to do.  If the refs put the whistles away the players are going to push it and people are going to get hurt and the game is going to suck.  I’ve never had a problem getting beat by a better team, or even getting beat by bad luck, but getting beat because the refs want to skate around and stare into the crowd is a pretty tough pill to swallow.

I know Oil Nation has an equal hatred for McGoo because of his blown call during the Dallas game, but I did a little digging and found that 2 of the 3 wins the Oilers had during the SCFs were officiated by McGoo. 

Now I don’t want to leave Mike Leggo out of my rant because he’s just as much to blame as McGoo.  I understand that you are a pair and that there is a veteran ref that kinda leads the pair, but grow a pair and make the calls when you see them.  At no time last night did I see Leggo make a call before McGoo raised his arm.  Why are you even out there if you wait for the other guy on every single play?!  If you won’t make the right call for the sake of the game, do it at least for the sake of your job.

I’ve heard a lot of rumblings about lax officiating creeping back into the game.  In the eastern conference I don’t see it.  I think the standard is there, sure there are off nights but it’s a human process all in all I think it’s good.  Now in the west I don’t watch many games, but what I’ve seen so far it’s 2002 all over again and it’s sad.  If it continues I guess the cup is going to go to whatever conference the officials are from.  The western teams seem to have a harder time with speedy aggressive teams when the officiating is good (Buffalo, Atlanta, etc), but the east gets handed when the officials shut down and go home.

It’s a sad way to go if it continues.

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