Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said he believes the Canucks would have won Game 6 in Chicago and can win Game 7 at Rogers Arena on Tuesday as long as they have "a level playing field."
Gillis, speaking in front of the full gathering of media for the first time in the playoffs, never raised his voice and was very calculated in his comments as he referred to his frustration with the officiating in the series. He read off a sheet he was holding when he stepped in front of the media outside the Canucks' dressing room.
Gillis claimed Chicago has had 59 percent more power plays than Vancouver in the series, including 69 percent more in Games 3-6. He also claimed that in the last four games when the score has been close, between a one- or two-goal difference, Chicago has received 100 percent more power plays than the Canucks plus one penalty shot.
The Blackhawks are 6-for-27 on the power play in the series while the Canucks are 4-for-16. The Blackhawks have scored all their power play goals on 22 chances over the last four games while the Canucks have converted on three of 12 chances since Game 3.
"I'm not sure how you explain that discrepancy, but we're going to be very hard-pressed to win hockey games if throughout an entire series when the score is tight, they get 75 percent more power plays than we do," Gillis said. "And that's just the reality. That's the facts that we're facing. You look at the game (Sunday) night, you guys all watched it, you don't need me to comment about what occurred in that hockey game. But when you break down the video, there are some extraordinary plays to explain given what's gone on."
Gillis seemed particularly agitated that Bryan Bickell did not receive at least a charging minor for his hit behind the net on Kevin Bieksa in overtime. He said it was very similar to Raffi Torres' hit on Brent Seabrook behind the net in Game 3, and Torres received a two-minute minor for interference on the play.
"The Torres hit was determined to be an interference call. Their team called for him to be suspended for multiple games, all kinds of people called for him to be suspended for multiple games," Gillis said. "In my opinion that hit (Sunday) night was clearly a charging play. His head was targeted. The full whiplash effect from that hit, so the only contact was with his head initially. Minimum, minimum it was a charging penalty on that particular play, but they saw it the way they saw it."
Gillis said he has brought up his complaints with the proper executives within the National Hockey League. He flatly denied that he was making these comments to let any of his players off the hook for losing the last three games, but it did appear he was trying to change the storyline going into Game 7 by putting the onus on his frustration over the officiating and not what was happening with his team.
The Canucks were ahead 3-0 in the series, but lost Games 4 and 5 by a combined 12-2. Game 6 was tight and went to overtime after Vancouver blew three one-goal leads, but Ben Smith scored for the Hawks to send the series back to Vancouver for Game 7.
Chicago had twice as many power plays as the Canucks in Game 6 (4-2) but neither team converted. Chicago did score on a penalty shot that was called when Dan Hamhuis brought down Michael Frolik early in the third period, but Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said following the game that it was a good call.
"These are facts. They're undeniable," Gillis said. "The first two games everything is relatively equal, the last four games they haven't been. And when people seem to think we don't have the killer instinct, it's pretty tough to have the killer instinct when you're killing penalties most of the time.
"Our power play was No. 1 in the League and theoretically we felt there were six or seven legitimate calls that weren't called for whatever reason. That's six or seven power-play opportunities for us. It's going to change the outcome of the game."
The Canucks' players and Vigneault did not join Gillis in showing frustration with the officials. They felt it best to focus on the task at hand and let Gillis worry about the complaints.
"I'm not going to touch on that. Our players and myself, we need to be focused on the process, putting a good game on the ice," Vigneault said. "I understand Mike's frustration. When Raffi Torres hit Seabrook, there was almost a national debate on whether he should play another game this year and we even had media from our media suggest that if the League doesn't suspend him we should suspend him. Well, the hit on Kevin (Sunday) night was the exact same hit and they didn't even get a minor and nobody brought it up so I understand his frustration. But, as far as us coaches and players, there's nothing we can do about that and we just have to go out and play."
Regardless of his complaints, Gillis still believes in the group. But, he also feels they haven't had a chance to show how good they can be yet.
"We were lucky to get into overtime the way things occurred during the game (Sunday night)," he said. "We directed 85 pucks at their net. If we had had any power plays whatsoever it probably could have been a hundred. We've had the best team during the regular season and that was the best game they've played during the whole year. And, so, for us to come away with a loss is shocking to me.
"I'm very confident that if we play the same way (Tuesday) night and it's a level playing field we'll win the game."
Canucks' GM Questions Officiating
Guest_Howard He Do It?! (Guest)
Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:54 PM
Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:59 PM
Posted 25 April 2011 - 11:03 PM
Ideally they'll put the whistles away for game 7.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 11:08 PM
Posted 25 April 2011 - 11:17 PM
- mjlegend likes this
Posted 25 April 2011 - 11:44 PM
"Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Refuses to Work Hard"
Posted 26 April 2011 - 12:09 AM
Oh, and the Torres penalty was interference, not elbowing. What a knucklehead.
Posted 26 April 2011 - 12:10 AM
Doesn't make the team look very resilient when the guy who decides who wears the uniforms is running to the media making excuses.
Posted 26 April 2011 - 12:15 AM
Posted 26 April 2011 - 12:18 AM
As for penalties being the reason why the Canucks may lose the series -- s***ting the bed in magnificent fashion in games 4 and 5 is why they may lose the series.
Posted 26 April 2011 - 02:26 AM
I wonder if he even WATCHED Det/SJ last year. Some of the worst officiating I've ever seen, but you never heard Holland whining to the press about it.
And this is Holland's fault.
NHL tries to extend all series as much as they can. For those watching the play-offs last three/four years no explanation is needed. There are plenty of examples. At the end this is Vancouver's fault that they were up by 3 games.
Posted 26 April 2011 - 03:45 AM
At least I'd hope there would be an outcry. Of course refs exercise discression BUT to outright admit they doctor the books to keep the balance sheets stable. Yikes.
"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas
of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage" --H.P. Lovecraft
Posted 26 April 2011 - 05:13 AM
Posted 26 April 2011 - 06:11 AM
But to talk about how the NHL schemes to extend these series, you guys know thats all illegal right? I have a hard time believing that the NHL would risk their already crappy reputation just to extend a series one or two games. I think you guys need to give it up.
Posted 26 April 2011 - 06:17 AM
What a joke that franchise is. Holland coulda took the podium a hundred times in the past 15 years to ***** about the officiating. Glad he actually has some class.
Edited by Broken 16, 26 April 2011 - 06:43 AM.
Posted 26 April 2011 - 06:57 AM
It's the hawks, officiating has been questionable in each game they played 2 weeks before the playoffs. I mean come on Detroit did not even have a PP in 2 games against them this year. That being said, Vancouver has no right to complain. You were up 3-0 with this questionable officiating, but now it's 3-3 and it's a problem?
Exactly. Complaining about the officiating now that you're tied after leading 3-0 is a real ***** move. The refs can't bring a team back from 3-0 deficit. Lousy goaltending and lack of intensity can though.
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