Look, I hate whining about officiating (most of the time) - if a team puts itself in a position where a referee can decide the game, they often deserve what they get. I prefer holding players culpable for giving the stripes the opportunity to make the horrendous calls they so often make, so I'll leave the full-on ref bashing to others.
But I will point out that this isn't the first time this season that one of today's referees, Boston's own Chris Rooney, has, for lack of a better term, screwed the pooch (which shouldn't be surprising, considering that he has been calling regular season games since 2000 and, based on his performance, has gotten a chance to officiate all of three playoff games). A brief look at his 2007-08 greatest hits:
- December 11 - Rooney and Bill McCreary let things get way out of hand in a Pens/Flyers game.
- February 4 - Rooney's whistle is... somewhere other than in his mouth, allowing Phoenix to score in overtime to beat Colorado. "It was a ridiculous non-call and I'm upset," said Avs coach Joel Quenneville.
- February 10 - Rooney and partner Dan O'Halloran repeatedly botch the Avs/Wings game.
- March 8 - Today's game. Ugh.
As for Rooney's roots - he grew up in Beantown and "watch[ed] the Bruins all [his] life" - one of the more notable moments in his career came when he threw former Bruin Joe Thornton out of a game for checking-from-the-side... against then-Bruin Hal Gill... in Boston. Apparently "[e]veryone, including the league, later agreed referee Chris Rooney over-reacted."
Finally, while this next quote is a little older, it's classic Ron Wilson, so it gets included:
"No practice tomorrow -- what we'll do is maybe call a practice and practice our diving. I'm dead serious. Chris Rooney calls a penalty on us on an obvious dive from Paul Kariya, so if anything, it should cost Paul Kariya $1,000 [in a fine for diving] to win the hockey game. [The NHL] put out a memo on dives and divers, and he's right at the top of the list for taking dives. ... Plain and simple, that's a dive."
So that's a bit of the Rooney file. Take it for what it's worth... maybe more than he's worth as a referee.