I'm not sure what else to say about the Bulldogs season that I didn't say at the end of the Broadcast Tuesday night. It's always hard to do a post season wrap up.
When it comes to the game in question Tuesday night, I'm a fan of the story in the Alberni Valley Times the next day by Jose Araujo, mostly due to his comments on the officiating, and about the Chiefs 1st goal specifically - I get pretty tired talking about the officiating all the time - it didn't cause the Dogs to lose the game - it just wrecked the game for the most part - as I said in the first period, if I wasn't the calling the game, I would have been heading for the exits. The last thing I WANT to do is talk about the officiating. Doesn't make me look good, but at the same time I am quite simply not doing my job if I am blindly ignoring the 20 tonne white elephant in the rink that 950 people also see.
Click to read Dogs fight hard, come up short
Here's hoping that the rookie officials will get some much needed time to season and improve themselves in the playoffs. And here's hoping that they don't blow a game or a series or a season for someone. Who knows, maybe we will have a Game 7, version 2.0 like they had to play in Nanaimo in 2004 when the officials made up a rule and gave a penalty shot to Nanaimo late in regulation of Game 7 and they had to play the game from that point on about a week later after Powell River appealed - anyone remember that circus?
Question - I am well aware that the water has certainly passed under the bridge a long time ago now - but how huge does the blown call on the hand-pass in overtime of Game 1 on the game winning goal play loom now, that the Dogs have been swept? Who's to say that the Dogs would have scored the "next" goal that night - the sad thing is that due to the rules of the game not being upheld correctly, by any of the three officials on the ice, we will never know.
Them's the breaks I guess. Wow does that sound shallow though. The Officials job is an incredibly hard one. I know they are all trying their best. The game is just so hard to call, so fast, so many big bodies and such a little space. The job is hard, and your decisions to make or don't make calls can influence the season. It possibly changed the entire complexion of the series for the Bulldogs. Like I said, it's one thing to lose 2 points and move on and play another night on a blown call in the regular season. It's an entirely different ball of wax when it's a playoff game. How about if - or I almost think WHEN - it decides a SERIES this spring?
Best of luck to the Chiefs in Round 2. They certainly have plenty of talent on that club, from the goalie out. I'm not a fan of the taunting, trash-talking, general crap - but would you expect a Harvey Smyl team to do anything different? I don't intend that to be an insult. Harvey Smyl teams always play with a fair amount of...to steal a word from Toronto GM Brian Burke - truculence. They always work hard, and they always play aggressive. At the Junior A level - maybe any level of hockey, it is all you need to do night after night and you will win your fair share of games. Which is exactly why Smyl has a consistent record of winning. They just won the series 4-0 so you can say that they know what they are doing. How far will it take them though? I just hope a player doesn't scream in a guys face and taunt him or taunt the bench etc after a goal or something else, and it ends up in a cross check or baseball swing to the face or head in retribution that results in a serious injury. That would sure look good for the league, and the game, if that made Sportsnet or Sportscentre, wouldn't you agree? We would all blame the player for losing his cool and not controlling his stick. Not the guy taunting him and screaming in his face. Right? Does taunting make you play better? What if the end result is a broken jaw/face/arm/leg? Hard to play that way. Guys have clubbed one another for less. I wouldn't want even my worst enemy to go through an incident where they hurt somebody in the heat of the battle, or where they get hurt by someone else in the heat of the battle. Bad for the game, and bad for the players, they are all just kids in the end.
The next part of the blog is brought to you by IHOP. I am waffling and changing my pick. I am a big fan of Harvey Smyl, and all the people behind the scenes with the Chiefs - just a bunch of great guys. At the same time, Matt Erhart is a great guy and the Eagles have their fair share of great people as well. Just like with the Chiefs, the Bulldogs had their fair share of incidents against the Eagles in the four games this season that could have been uglier. Just check the box scores. In the end, no team is full of angels, the Bulldogs included. My final decision comes from the code of the Hockey Gods (at least how I interpret them) that you cannot cheer against the team that put you out of the running. As hard as that might be, in the end if you lost to the best, you can say you lost to the best. So GO CHIEFS.
It is a MUST WIN game for the Van Isle Ford Midget Rep Bulldogs tomorrow in the Island Championships as they host Juan De Fuca. The Bulldogs lost 5-2 last weekend at Bear Mountain Arena - now they have home ice advantage back at the Multiplex tomorrow. Game time is 2:45pm. Admission is FREE, so get out and support the Dogs!