Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is Alex Burrows Right?

Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows has publicly questioned the integrity of the game he plays. Does he have a valid argument or not? If he does, look out. Burrows didn't pull any punches after Monday's 3-2 loss to Nashville when it came to referee Stephan Auger. Burrows said Auger called three penalties on Burrows---two that were extremely questionable all in the 3rd period. When it was over, Burrows said Auger had told him before the game he would get him back for making him look bad when he embellished a hit during a game in Nashville earlier this season.
On the surface it would appear as if Burrows has a point. As I said, two of the penalties issued against him were terrible calls---they were one or two levels beyond terrible. Burrows finally had enough and received a 10 minute misconduct which is a penalty I'm guessing was justified.
We have all gone to enough games and wondered what on earth the referees were thinking many a time. We have all disagreed with calls that have been made. Its part of the game.
The bottom line here is that the NHL needs to investigate these claims thoroughly and then act on their findings immediately. If it is found Burrows has made up these allegations, he needs to be suspended and perhaps heavily fined for his comments.
If Auger is found to be guilty, he too needs to be given a hefty punishment---perhaps expulsion as it will be shown that a referee influenced a game deliberately. If he did what he is accused of, Auger has not just crossed the line, he has long jumped over it. You simply can't tolerate that type of behaviour from a ref whether it be the NHL, NBA, NFL or whatever league you watch both pro and amateur.
Burrows will never be thought of as a Lady Byng candidate and he is one of those players that can be considered as a "pest". I'm sure his reputation will work against him. In fact, this could very well come down to whether the league believes Burrows or Auger.
If the past is any indication, whether Burrows is right or wrong with his allegations, he should expect a call from the NHL saying they would like him to write a cheque and sit a few games. If that happens fine, but Auger should also be told he has worked his last game involving the Canucks or whatever team Burrows is playing for for a long time.


Anonymous said...

I'm a Canucks fan so maybe my opinion shouldn't count here, but Burrows shouldn't be punished because he didn't do anything wrong. There is video evidence showing him having a chat with Auger before the game and there is video evidence showing the bad calls he received. The NBA turned away from talk of a gambling scandal involving refs and then had to do some fast-talking when the Donaghy scandal started. I'm not saying Auger is guilty of that, but the NHL needs to properly investigate this matter and make sure it never ever happens again.


Anonymous said...

The Big thing Auger did wrong (assuming what Burrows said is true) was that he said he was gunning for Burrows. That's a no-no. If he just gave him the diving call, message sent, score settled. The interference penalty was a bad call, and over the top.
Let's face it though, ref's are human, and if you make one look bad, he will make you look bad later on. I imagine that happens more then the league would like to admit.

Little Johnny

canuck1 said...