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Guest Howard He Do It?!

Canucks' GM Questions Officiating

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Do you think he makes a good point or do you think he is making an excuse for his team blowing a 3-0 series lead?

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."

NHL

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Well during the regular season Vancouver was by far the more penalized team during the season of the two (by over 200 PIMs according to a comment I've read about this on TSN), so my guess is they need to suck it up and and try and cut down on infractions. Both teams have gotten away with a lot, the refs missed a lot of calls on both sides in this series. The Canucks GM can cry all he wants, but if his team showed up for game 4 and/or 5 they wouldn't be in this situation. They need to take care of what they have control over and not worry about the officiating. Hopefully for his sake the refs don't decide to be even more hard on the Canucks now out of spite.

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I'm sure it's mostly gamesmanship on his part and the amount of whining from Canucks fans has begun to border on ludicrous, but the Canucks have absolutely been getting the shaft from the officials in this series. Vancouver is getting nailed with a lot of tickytack calls while Chicago has had some obscene after the whistle antics go unchecked. It reminds me a lot of the DET/SJS series last year where it was completely lopsided the entire time.

Ideally they'll put the whistles away for game 7.

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There were a bit of glaring "missed" calls against the Hawks that I saw in Game 6, more than I felt were against Vancouver. The penalty shot was legit. Lets face it, Canucks blew a 3-0 series lead and reffing could have played a minor role in 1 game. 1 game out of the last 3. I can't give Canucks fans a shoulder to cry on. They outplayed the Hawks in Game 6 but weren't good enough to finish. Thats who wins Cups, teams who can finish. Bet you guys wish you played Dallas.

mjlegend likes this

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Gillis is such a slug, he never talks to the media and now he comes out of his cave and picks this time to talk and ***** about the refs. What a wanker !

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Haha, what a tool. His team has played undisciplined and got a bunch of 10 minute penalties for gooning it up. But hey, lets scew the stats to make it look like everyone's picking on poor little Canucks.

Oh, and the Torres penalty was interference, not elbowing. What a knucklehead.

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Right or wrong, no good can come of whining to the media about officiating.

Doesn't make the team look very resilient when the guy who decides who wears the uniforms is running to the media making excuses.

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He's right, the Canucks are diving so much you'd think they would have more powerplays.

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Gillis is making himself the centre of attention and taking the heat off the team. Today, Gillis is the main story, not Luongo, not the Sedins, not Kesler -- it's Mike Gillis. Good job I say.

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.

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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.

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Imagine the outcry if a coach outright said refs make 'make up calls' to keep the number of penalties even instead of simply calling it like they see it.

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.

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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? :huh:

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Its one thing for there to be bad officiating every once in a while, or even sometimes multiple games in a row.

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.

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So why even have powerplays if the refs are expected to even them up? How about stop diving and gooning first. :blink:

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

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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? :huh:

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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I have to agree as well. I have always believed that the best team wins a 7 game series. This series will be no different. Will the refs have a bad game or two? Yes. Will a team win a game that they were getting outplayed in? Yes. Look at a couple of the games in the Sharks-Kings series. The officiating really is not a point of contention in a 7 game series. Any team bringing it up as a point of contention is deflecting the focus away from lazy or substandard play.

I like what Lebrun has to say about this.

"If his team wins, the GM will be seen as brilliant for his rant. If the Canucks lose, bad officiating isn't what people will remember from this series. It'll be looked as one of the greatest collapses in NHL history."

This is very true. I have watched 5 of these games in their entirety. I really can say that there have been missed calls on both teams, as normal. There have been calls that shouldn't have been made, as normal. I don't see any favoritism at all. Stop making excuses, and get your team motivated to win the game. Thats my advice.

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Gillis is making himself the centre of attention and taking the heat off the team. Today, Gillis is the main story, not Luongo, not the Sedins, not Kesler -- it's Mike Gillis. Good job I say.

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.

^ This x1000. He is taking all the attention away from his team and rallying his team with a us vs. everyone approach. Well done.

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^ This x1000. He is taking all the attention away from his team and rallying his team with a us vs. everyone approach. Well done.

To me it just makes them seem even more mentally fragile if they need their GM to take the attention away from them. They look like a whiny franchise from top to bottom.

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