Funny how people are so ready to believe Alex Burrows, and so ready to assume Stephane Auger essentially cheated the Vancouver Canucks.
Come to think of it, funny how it's always the Canucks screaming outrage about something. Unless, of course, its a Vancouver fan shining a laser into the face of an opposing goalie. Then, in the words of Alain Vigneault, they're just "great fans."
They sure get unhinged in a hurry over hockey in Vancouver. Geez, years later, you can still get folks all up in a lather over the Bertuzzi-Moore incident, claiming Steve Moore deserved what he got and how he faked his injuries, etc.
Never much moderation out of B.C. when it comes to these things.
Just last summer, Canucks GM Mike Gillis accused the Leafs not once but twice of illegally meddling in Vancouver team business. The NHL essentially laughed and went on to other business.
Now Burrows and his accusations against Auger, which have many in Vancouver screaming that justice must be done, how this proves referees carry grudges and how Auger should be thrown out of the sport.
For starters, how do we know Burrows is telling the truth?
There's absolutely no corroboration of his story. What we do know is that he's a known dive artist and agitator who is more than happy to fake an injury or a foul if it draws a penalty against an opponent. He believes referees are there to buy into his various cons and acting jobs.
He's a pretty good hockey player, too. It's just that the nonsense sometimes overshadows the ability, just like his teammate, Ryan Kesler.
Auger? Solid, not spectacular ref. Not one of the NHL's best, but solid. To be honest, most nights I couldn't tell you who the referees are any more. It's just not a big factor to me.
The willingness of so many to accept Burrows' story, however, is just an extension of the way in which many adults feel when they go to the neighborhood rink and watch their kids play. So many constantly harp on referees and accuse them of deliberately falsifying calls to benefit one team or the other.
Let's face it. As a nation, we're a bunch of crybabies and referee baiters.
To many (say, Leaf broadcasts) the game is nothing more than a constant discussion of officiating calls, how they got it right or wrong or why they missed this or that. Always, there's an underlying message — Pat Quinn is the best at this — suggesting the men in the striped jerseys are somehow dishonest, unmanly and not to be trusted.
Hockey Night in Canada fostered this mentality for years, although it has improved slightly in this regard in recent times.
There's still an attitude in this country that the best officiated game is one in which referees don't make any calls at all but simply give the advantage to the lesser skilled players and the lowest common denominator.
I always want to ask those people what they think the refs are out there for. To break up fights, I guess. But not too quickly.
I don't know what Auger said to Burrows. But I don't believe Burrows, either, and I don't believe the integrity of the sport has been terribly compromised.
I do believe the Canucks are making a mountain out of a molehill. But then, they always do.