Yes, Stuart's head shot should have been called. Though I'd suggest that if Murray's had not preceded it, or at least been called, Stuie wouldn't have sought retalliation. I took the refs letting Stuart's go as an admission that they F'd up the Murray hit.
And like I say in pretty much any officiating discussion, there are always missed calls on both sides. Picking out one here and there doesn't make it even. We have seen VS announcers talking about the terrible calls in game 2. We even had Bettman come close to admitting that refs can make mistakes. This series was not called evenly.
I'm not saying that the Wings would have won. Aside from game 4, it was pretty evenly played. The Sharks capitalized better on their opportunities, but they also unfairly had more of them. I'd say the Sharks probably would have won anyway. What really bothers me though is that since we can't ever get any kind of consensus, we have no real hope of improvement.
Losers always cry about the problem, but in a biased way. Winners always say it was fair. Truth is, it's hardly ever perfectly balanced. Even if it was though, who cares? The focus should be that the officiating is terrible. It's been terrible for years, and will continue to be terrible until somebody admits that there is a problem. We should not be talking about the five missed calls on your team, and you responding with the 5 missed on ours. That's too many mistakes, and it has far too much impact on the games.
The league made such a big deal about head hits this year. Murray's hit could have been used as an example to go along with the explicit definition the league came up with. But the refs let it go, and then let Stuie's response go. Being even doesn't make it good. But you don't want to admit there was a problem, because you fear it takes some validity away from your win. The league doesn't want to admit there's a problem, because they fear cries of bias or unfair play. Only the losers talk about it, and we're easily brushed aside as whiners. So it will never get any better (at least not until we get a commissioner with some balls).
I hope it's not the Sharks getting shafted next round. Good luck.
I agree with most of you said. I suppose I look at it a little differently. Probably because of the way our team has always played. The Sharks have never been an edgy team, meaning they didn't try to get away with a lot stuff. Because of this they have never established a reputation, which in my opinion does follow teams.
That being said, the Sharks have probably gotten the short end of many games on the score board, because they didn't take "liberties" and play the game on the edge, they gave the other team an advantage.
This year, they are playing more edgy. They are fighting to win, where they didn't previously. The Sharks earn a lot of calls against opposing teams playing as hard as they do on the forecheck and (I believe) because of their perceived style of play reputation for being a clean team.
Edit: I would also say a team has to be cognizant of the officiating within a game. Pay attention to what the refs are calling and not calling. The Wings (deserved or not) gave the officials too many opportunities to make bad calls with poor stick management, bad positioning etc. If is looks like a penalty a poor skating official is probably going to call it. The players have to take responsibility for this.
Edited by Ratbastrd, 09 May 2010 - 06:52 PM.