In the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Jonathan Toews didn’t have anything nice to say about the officiating crew. According to Toews, the Red Wings got away with several hooks, grabs, and clutches against Hawks players throughout game 2, and were never called for several of them, and the Hawks were seemingly called for every one of those gestures throughout the game. Toews said that the calls from the referees were not going “both ways”.
During game 2, the Blackhawks were charged with 5 minor penalties, while the Red Wings were called for 3. Other teams throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs have also complained about the quality of the officiating. It’s easy to forget that hockey is a fast game, and calls will always be missed, but often times referees will make-up for it, and hand out a softer penalty to the opponent of the team who, was on the wrong end of a missed call. When several penalties go uncalled for, and are not made up, it can be the most infuriating thing for a player, especially one on the losing end of the game. Toews was obviously frustrated by the loss, and feels had some of the infractions from Detroit had been penalized, the game may have played out differently. We’ll never know for sure.
It’s easy to see why Toews was upset, the team he is captaining in the playoffs, lost a home game that they were expected to win, and could have put the Hawks in a very comfortable position for the rest of the series. More Power Plays for the Hawks would have most likely changed the final outcome of the game. We also have to remember that no matter what, the referees are humans, and with that human element comes human mistakes. Those mistakes will always be there, but maybe not always as seemingly one-sided looking, but sometimes that happens.
The frustrating loss, and the non-calls on several Detroit penalties may alter the complexion and outlook on this series for the Blackhawks. They will undoubtedly be more charged up, and more angry to start game 3. It will surely be interesting, so stay tuned.