Refs continue to plague the Flyers, will it ever stop?
Philadelphia has always had a reputation to loathe the referees of any given sport. This seems especially prominent in Hockey with the Flyers. Our Fly Guys are once again at the start of a long season and have a young promising team. With new lineups trying to gel together it’s vital that they secure as many early points as possible to develop confidence.
Last night the Flyers fought back and forth in a tough loss against the Senators that saw them have 2 goals disqualified. One of which occurred with seconds left at end of the game; Sean Couturier mashed the puck over the red line and announcers and fans were convinced we had a goal. After review, the refs once again controversially overturned the goal and made the wrong call. Last night’s officiating was some of the worst I have seen this season. This factor combined with all their self-inflicted mistakes makes it’s hard to believe but the Flyers actually had a good shot to win the game. In the end, the boys in stripes were too much to overcome, and the fact that a professional league deals with problems like this weekly baffles me. If the casual fan can determine things not seen by the people whose very job is to enforce and execute the rules then something is very wrong. People always say it’s the “bad luck” of Philly sports but that’s a lazy cop-out.
The NHL has some explaining to do if not some adjustments to make as well. The season lies in the hands of these guys, and no matter who is playing night after night we can’t have these referees deciding games. Commissioner Gary Bettman has been criticized many times by fans in the past and if he can’t address these early season officiating issues then his name will continue to be dragged through the dirt.
Officials aside the fly guys showed a lot of adversity last night in a frustrating game, to say the least. If they can build off the emotion of a loss like this and use it to motivate them it will help them in this early stretch in their difficult division. The Flyers always have playoff expectations and this year is no different. Young teams tend to surprise many every year in this league with the speed they can come at you with. Most NHL teams now tend to try to be on the younger side with veteran presence mixed in. It appears the Flyers have built their team along those lines for their future.
Not only the Flyers but every NHL team has to face these refs’ night in and night out so we can only hope it will improve. Referees need to focus more on getting the call right than being scared to change it if they were originally wrong. A game like that could be crushing, obviously, players and coaches were visually frustrated after doing everything they could to at least get a point in this game. It’s a long season ahead, and we can only hope this aggravation feeds into the hunger they have to bring a cup back to the city of brotherly love.