I wish Ottawa was an American team so we could blame Gary Bettman. Or maybe we’ll blame Stphane Auge who was the primary official tonight. Or better yet, blame the nation’s capital for, I dunno, proroguing parliament or something.

Tonight an otherwise exciting game between two Canadian clubs was absolutely ruined by horrific officiating. It sucks to complain about officials, cause generally they do a great job, but man alive, it was frustrating tonight.

Calgary opened the scoring thanks to Iginla’s pass to a floating Hagman who bombed a slapper top shelf. After than it all came crashing down.

I don’t know what the stat is but I wonder how many penalties are called right after an opening face-off following a goal. Regardless, Ian White was called for a ‘hooking’ penalty.

On the ensuing penalty Jamal Mayers takes the draw and the Ottawa player hangs on to his stick. No call and after the puck literally hits 5 skates the Senators draw even.

Calgary re-assumed the lead when the top line struck again when Iginla set up Stajan for a nice back hand to forward goal.

It should be noted that every scrum after the whistle CALGARY was called for phantom penalties. Giordano went off for ‘roughing’ because he literally PUSHED a guy in the SHOULD PAD–THE SHOULDER PAD!!!! And THEN Girodano was hauled down by the jersey and almost smashed his head on the ice. WTF AUGE!

Six minutes later mark Giordano start retrieving the puck in his own end and his hooked from behind. The blatant hook is so obvious because nothing else is going on other than Spezza reaching as far as he can to twist Giordano around, get the puck, pass off and collect ANOTHER lucky bounce off a skate to tie the game.

The third goal which gave the Sens the lead ricocheted off TWO SKATES again! And off to a wide open Ruutu who gave Ottawa the lead.

The refs missed so many calls that weren’t mysterious but CLEARLY penalties. The insult to injure came with only ONE minute left when a beautiful dive by Kovalev, (note to Flames start DIVING because the NHL has created a system of play where you’ll get the call if you hit the ice; don’t make it obvious, but do your best to scream and throw your legs in the air while you’re doing it,) gave the Sens a POWERPLAY! WTF?! How is this possible?

The Flames can feel a bit better about themselves, the referees dominated this game and overshadowed interesting performances by both goalies and a few players. Hopefully they’ll continue to improve, tighten up their game, and go out to the Olympics with two wins.

Final thoughts: But here’s the thing, if the Senators have been winning games the way they won tonight, they are an absolute embarrassment to Canadian hockey. Canadians aren’t cowards like Mike Fischer who throws punches only when the linesman is around to save his ass. Canadians aren’t idiots like Chris Neil who charges Giordano and sticks out his knee. Canadians don’t win games because the refs give you a helping hand at every step of the way.