Duncan Keith gets one game Shanaban

Posted: 06/06/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Chicago Blackhawks go into tonight’s game at Staples Center minus their big dog on the blue line, recent Norris Trophy winner, Duncan Keith. The facts are not in dispute. League disciplinarian cited Keith for retaliation on Kings forward Jeff Carter. Shanahan also noted Keith’s history and the injury, 20-stitch cut and damage to Carter’s teeth as mitigating factors in meting out Shanaban.

I don’t take any exception to the interpretation or the result. However it should be noted, not in Keith’s defense so much, but as one more example of the horrendous state of officiating in the NHL. Look at the video.

As the play begins, the camera captures a battle between Carter and Keith off the left post of the Chicago goal. Carter is seen elbowing Keith in the face and slashing him across the back. Had the refs been doing their jobs, arms go up and Carter is called for a minor penalty. Instead, directly due to referee negligence, as Keith and Carter follow the play back toward the Kings zone, Keith bends over to pick up his glove and Carter slashes at Keith’s hand. This was the point at which Keith retaliated.

This play captures much of the criticism I’ve been making about the refs during the regular season and playoff. First, officials rarely catch the initial infraction(s) but always call the retaliation. Second, violence tends to escalate when referees refuse to call or miss entirely, those initial infractions. Third, when the refs are so incompetent as to miss an elbow to the face, followed by two slashing incidents, players tend to take matters into their own hands.

Had a ref raised his arm at one of the two initial infractions and even on a delayed call, odds are that Keith doesn’t retaliate.

Once again and what seems to infinitude, a game and a series may turn as a direct result of the most consistently incompetent officiating I’ve ever witnessed at any level in my now near sixty years of hockey.

  1. bbdux93 says:

    bc Have your got an answer yet to the question you asked of – I guess – some NHL official person – Why do ref seem to always catch the retaliation and miss the initial call.

    This is a prime example of that and IMO it should have been part of the ruling against Keith. If the guys on the ice won’t make that first call Shanahan should. That course of action might be the only way this junk stops and the refs on the ice get the message.

  2. bbdux93 says:

    Yes I know my suggestion above can’t and would never be an outcome of a hearing but something – maybe as unusual as that – needs to be done. Are the refs trying to tell the league the game is too fast & too intense for one guy in a zone to make most of the obvious calls???

    • bc says:

      This junk, Ref missing the initial infraction and calling the retaliation, goes back to my earliest playing days bb. That would be late 1950’s. When they instituted the two Ref system, the second Ref was supposed to catch all the stuff occurring behind the play or away from the puck. Like exactly what is shown in that video. Shanny knows the culture and the unwritten rules of the game. If the Refs misses something the players will take care of it themselves. Why he chose to ignore the initial elbow and the slash is beyond me though. What If Carter had lost an eye? Is that what has to happen before we hold Refs more accountable? No, Kerry Fraser hasn’t answered me yet. Doesn’t he know how important I am 😉

    • bc says:

      Shanahan discussed the slash at the hand or glove. Why didn’t he begin his discussion with the elbow or slash across the back?
      Jeez, they let an elbow and two slashes go but draw the line at attempted decapitation of an opponent.
      When Refs let stuff go they begin managing the game instead of calling it as it happens. It goes from bad to worse when they start to “even things up” as a way for correcting previous calls and missed calls.
      IMHO the league must (1) give more guidance on the use of official discretion as described in the rule book, (2) encourage officials to identify and call more initial acts of provocation or instigation.

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