Dan O’Halloran Changes Series Single Handedly
Not since Kerry Fraser have the Flames seen such a abysmal and pathetic display of playoff hockey officiating as they did in the first period of game five versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
Referees are supposed to engineer a playoff flow to a hockey game. Generally that means letting players hit and bang. What they aren’t supposed to do is change the momentum of the game disgustingly in favour of the home team.
Either the NHL sent a memo to support home teams, or Dan O’Halloran can’t officiate in an exciting game impartially. The loud crowd in Chicago must have given him the spunk required to call pre-season like penalties.
The problems started minutes into the game…
Todd Bertuzzi was called for holding. The overzealous Dan O’Halloran promptly sent Bertuzzi to the box even though PAHLSSON was the one holding Bertuzzi. A good penalty draw for him, bad for the Flames.
Not to be outdone, Dan O’Halloran YET AGAIN gets excited minutes after that (pretty much like Mick McGeough) and sends Sarich to the box for a ‘cross check’. Sarich came and literally bumped into a Blackhawks player who THREW himself onto the ice like he was shot.
The NHL should be suspending Sarich for his push since they did for Roy in pre-game. Anything is possible….. (that was a joke, but then again…..)
That type of disgusting display is indicative of soccer, where there is no honour and players without pride throw themselves on the field. But alas, you can look like an idiot on ice because Dan O’Halloran is reffing and he’ll call dives but won’t call two handed slashes.
Chicago scored on on PP and maintained momentum to get two more lucky goals.
Nonetheless, this first period will go down in memory as the single worst officiated period in Flames history with ramifications that could extend to their exit from the 08-09 playoffs. Thanks Dan. Real winner.