Woe to you, NHL

With its arbitrary and capricious rulings on goaltender interference, and the Frankenstein-like creation of the Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL has proven that it is no longer a league of fair competition.

Woe to you, NHL.

And woe to you, Toronto.  You have an agenda against our Los Angeles Kings, every time you review our plays for goaltender interference.

Yesterday you have proven that goaltender interference is a sham rule.  A “rule” with no clear definition.  A “rule” that is subject to the whims of the reviewer.  A “rule” that is defined arbitrarily, subjectively, capriciously, and however the official wants to define it on a given moment.

Every kid in the world that learns the game of hockey knows to create traffic in front of the net.  To stand in front of the goaltender to jam in the loose rebound.  Such is virtue in hockey.  It’s good to do it and worth every effort.  Even if your opponents flatten you onto the ice in retaliation.

Dustin Brown did just that.  He did what he was supposed to do.  For not every goal is a pretty play.  With less than ten seconds remaining, the puck was loose, and he was entitled to go after it and shoot at it with his stick, even if the follow-through hits the pad of Cam Talbot.

This is not a situation where Cam Talbot smothered the puck under him, and his body was being pushed into the net.  The puck was completely loose and up for grabs, and players are allowed to jam at it.


Apparently this is a bad habit for you, NHL, and a problem that you cannot seem to solve.  As Satchel Price wrote on February 2:

The Oilers nearly lost a game on Jan. 26 because of a goalie interference call that left Connor McDavid so upset he later got an Abuse of Officials penalty. “I have thoughts but I’m probably best to keep them to myself,” coach Todd McLellan said after the game. “I’ll let that speak for what my thoughts are.”

A goal by the Wild’s Jonas Brodin is called off for goalie interference on Jan. 25 because Mikko Koivu lightly stick-checks the goaltender. The video on YouTube has more dislikes than likes, which shows how fans feel about this stuff.

The Lightning needed a comeback win after a failed goalie interference call on Jan. 24. “Right when I think I got this (rule) finally figured out,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “The player comes, knocks our goalie, spins him around, clearly before the puck is even in the net. I look at it this way. I thought it was 100 percent goalie interference and I guarantee, on their bench, they’re sitting there thinking, ‘Oh this could go 50/50.’”

Auston Matthews was robbed of what appeared to be a good goal against the Avalanche on Jan. 22. Next time he scored, he signaled the goal himself to show referees this one couldn’t be taken away.

Referees take nearly six minutes on Jan. 13 to figure out whether Blake Comeau’s collision with Ben Bishop counts as interference. They ultimately decide it is goaltender inference and take away the goal.

The Maple Leafs try to challenge for goaltender interference when Artem Anisimov falls over the netminder during a wild sequence on Jan. 24, but the referees determine it’s a good goal.

Hey NHL, you have a pattern of taking away the legitimate achievements of players and teams with your incompetent rulings.  The careers of human beings are on the line, but the players are nothing like commodities for you to promote and destroy at a whim.

It’s become a bad habit for you, NHL.  You cannot help but make inconsistent, arbitrary, and capricious rulings.  You have created the very problem you cannot solve, as your rule on goaltender interference DOES NOT HAVE A CLEAR DEFINITION.

How can we have fair competition when the rules aren’t even clear.  How can we have a game worth playing, a sport worth pursuing, when the rules cannot be fully understood by the participants.

Now, with your botched call against the Kings on February 24, you ruined the playoff chances of one of your franchises.  You denied the Kings a crucial point in what has become a neck-and-neck playoff race, in which every single point counts.

Was it a makeup call for your other call against the Oilers only seven days prior, in which the same goalie Cam Talbot called your rule “f**king ridiculous”?

You say the Kings ruined it for themselves by playing subpar, and letting in an empty-net goal?  You say they should’ve beaten the underachieving Edmonton Oilers?  But this is the product you wanted, NHL, a league of parity among teams.  May I remind you that the Oilers were supposed to be Stanley Cup contenders this year, and they have underachieved this season.  At any time the real Oilers may show up, and that’s what happened last night.

But hasn’t every team underachieved this season?  Isn’t every team mediocre compared to the Vegas Golden Knights, a Frankenstein team that you created out of your own Sin City fantasy by allowing George McPhee to pay $500 million to steal valuable stars and mid-level players from every other team?  Sounds more like crime boss conspiracy than Caesars Palace glamour.

Expansion teams are supposed to earn their way to success.  Now, you have set a precedent in which a new team can simply buy its way to being a Cup contender.  Which other teams will pony up $500 million so that you can create new rules in their favor?

What kind of fair competition is this?  It isn’t.

Now Vegas has stolen a playoff spot off of every team in the Western Conference, leaving the rest of the Western teams to fight over one less spot.

Not only that, you have failed to veto the obvious collusion between Vegas and the Pittsburgh Penguins, in which Vegas is paying part of the salary of Derick Brassard simply to keep him out of another team’s hands.  How did Vegas know that a Brassard deal to another team was imminent?  How did Vegas even get the opportunity to make this type of deal?  What business does one team have to jump in and pour in money to facilitate a deal between two other teams?  What kind of back-alley talk was there between Vegas and Pittsburgh to let this happen?

What kind of fair competition is this? It isn’t.

Dustin Brown got rebuffed for playing the game of hockey exactly how it is supposed to be played.  And now the Los Angeles Kings have been robbed of a crucial point in a razor-close playoff race.  You stuck your fat ugly leg into the Gangneung Oval and tripped the Kings as they skated past.  Now they lost valuable seconds that they will be hard-pressed to make up.

If the Kings miss the playoffs in 2018 it will be because of you, NHL.

Woe to you, NHL.