Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings - Game Six

Refs are notoriously stingy when it comes to calling penalty shots. If they’d call them more, we’d see more partial breakaways matter, because defenders wouldn’t want to risk giving opponent’s time to set and think on a clean breakaway. It would be great for the game, and for the fans’ enjoyment of it. But nooooo, instead refs are afraid to make the call, so we rarely see them. There was a play in last night’s game where I thought Patrick Sharp deserved a penalty shot. He would have been in alone had he not been mauled from behind.

BUT. Ohhhhhh, but. The call on Carlo Colaiacovo to give Michael Frolik a penalty shot with ten minutes to go in an elimination game was garbage, and I say that as someone who is decidedly pro-call-more-penalty-shots.

You’re allowed to hit your opponent’s stick when he shoots – that’s defense – and you’re even allowed to get in on his hands if you’re not overtly violent. How else do you defend? You take away the opposing shooter’s stick. And EVEN IF you want to be an uber-Hawks fan and complain about your guy getting a stick on the hands (which I don’t think he got much of, if any), how Downy soft was that flick? I’m well aware of the position of their bodies (Colaiacovo behind chasing), I’m well aware of the definition of the rules, but I’m also well aware of the fact that there’s an expectation that players be able to withstand some level of resistance. Even in basketball where a touch is a foul, you know you’re going to get some uncalled contact going to the rim.

I can’t be won over here. That’s a weak penalty shot call at a pivotal point in the game.

So allllll thaaaatttt saaaiiiddd… They DID make the call, and it was a huge moment for Michael Frolik and the Hawks, and boy did he have some chutzpah to make the move he did, and the skill to make it count.

It was a huge, eventually game-deciding goal for the Hawks. What a move. Backhand Shelf, y’all.

I love Bob Cole – like, a lot – but the only thing worse than the ref’s call on the play might be Cole’s. From the blocked shot inside the blueline to the three-zone breakaway by Frolik to the call, here’s the dialogue:

“…And this race for it.

…Frolik. Annnnd, uhh…penalty..?..what’s he calling? Yeahhh, he’s calling a penalty shot.”

Comments (15)

  1. Just another in a long line of bad calls this playoff season…..also it wouldn’t have mattered if Howard would have made a save on Frolik….he of 19 goals over the last 3 years COMBINED. As a Hawks fan, I’ll take it though.

    It is kind of funny when you think about it. Shaw and Toews just getting chopped down with slashes and cross checks in front of the net is A-OK, but you slap a guy on the stick on a breakaway, and it gets a call….

  2. I didn’t watch the game so this is the first I’m seeing of it. But that is some bullshit.

    • No offence….but I think I’ll take the word of two NHL’ers of the past (Galley and Hrudy) over mr. Bourne when it comes to whether or not that was a legitimate penalty shot. As they said, “all the criteria was there”. It took away a clear scoring check via a slash on the hand. No where in the rule book does it say that the slash has to fracture the guys hand for it to be a penalty. Yes the sharp one was more clear but that was a missed call. Just because a ref misses one does not mean they should consistently keep not calling them whether they are more obvious or not.

      • Seconded. All the criteria for a penalty shot were there, making this the correct call. I agree there have been other situations that should have been called a PS and weren’t – but that doesn’t alter the circumstances of this call. If you want to argue the inconsistency, fine – that still leaves this a penalty shot.

  3. “”ou’re allowed to hit your opponent’s stick when he shoots – that’s defense – and you’re even allowed to get in on his hands if you’re not overtly violent.”

    Im ok with trying to take a guy’s stick away (assuming its not slashing), but I dont think you should ever be able to go after a guy’s hand. We see that hand-slap soooo many times in a game, and I hate it.

  4. Bob Cole was one of the best announcers ever… key on the was. He mixes up names…players AND team names all the time now… he is always behind the play it seems. Bob Cole was an icon… time for him to retire the microphone.

  5. It’s called a ‘love tap’, and it was nonsense as a call.

  6. Bob Cole wasn’t on his game at all last night … the man, who I generally respect and enjoy, sounded as if he’d been into the mugs before the game.

    • Totally, he thought #20 was Zetterberg all night long.

    • Cole is a legend, but he has no clue what’s going on anymore. He doesn’t follow the play anymore and just shouts out hockey sounding plays like “now they’ve got them hemmed in” or “they’re really going for it now”. it’s tough to listen to

  7. What’s strange to me as a Hawks fan is I’m pretty sure there were better examples of penalty shot worthy calls that weren’t made in games 3 and 4. They were power plays instead (and the Hawks did jack shit with them).

    But way to go Frolik, that was a sweet shot.

  8. It is turning into professional wrestling. It’s to get people who don’t know the game to watch. Too bad, I use to like playoff hockey. You have two refs out there and they still can’t get it right. Not only that but watch the off sides calls the linesmen miss!

    • I’d be willing to bet that the last thing on the ref’s mind during the split decision to call for the penalty shot was, “gee, i should totally call a penalty shot here to boost ratings for the NHL”.

  9. Question on the penalty shot itself: Jimmy Howard got lost in his crease, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *