Some interesting decisions to ponder on a Monday morning:
Cole played as well as could be expected, but just about everything about this doesn't feel right.
First, it appears that the notion to use Cole sprang from the loss of centre Doug Weight to an apparent shoulder injury in Game 5. Given the seriousness of Cole's injury, a fractured veterbrae in the neck, and given that the Canes had previously made it clear they would take the utmost precautions with Cole because of the nature of the injury, using him should not have been related to the health of any other player or the desperate needs of the team.
Second, by telling The Star's Ken Campbell that deciding to play involves a risk that one hit could end his career, Cole was putting an unfair burden on his opponents. Some, like Mike Peca and Ethan Moreau, insisted it wouldn't make a difference, but it might to others.
Finally, Cole seemed to be engaging in a bit of gamesmanship with the officials by suggesting that the Oilers like to leave their feet and deliver hits to the head. Don't be surprised if Edmonton gets a call on that in Game 7, and you can also assume that the Oilers remind the league of Cole's reputation as one of the NHL's worst divers before the game starts.
As a reader points out, Bosh's seeming anxiousness to ink a new six-year deal with the Raptors/MLSE stands in sharp contrast to the apparent reluctance of McCabe to sign up with the Maple Leafs/MLSE for a long-term pact.
That should tell you a lot about these respective athletes. Bosh is clearly one you can build around. McCabe, traded three times in his NHL career, clearly is not. The Leafs need to walk away from what is looking more and more like a bad idea and choose a new direction.
Simply put, the league's top officiating executives, Colin Campbell and Stephen Walkom, believe McCreary and Watson are now the best they have.
Kudos to McCreary, long one of the NHL's top zebras, for being able to adjust over the course of his career to both the two-referee system and, this season, the league's new rule standard.
Watson isn't one of my favorites, but he makes tough calls and has earned his way in a fairly short period of time to the top of the charts ahead of more experienced men.