From [Empty Netters]
Last night in Carolina, another talented group of NHL officials displayed their incredible skill:
Finally, clear evidence that the NHL hates Toronto.
Either that, or Gary Bettman desperately wants the Carolina Hurricanes to succeed.
NHL officiating is an inconsistent joke.
From "even up" calls to refusing to suspend superstars to the "intent to blow the whistle" rule, NHL refereeing is poor at best.
It's not because the league is out to get any particular franchise or because Gary Bettman favors any one team.
It's just poor. Across the board. And that's sad.
Note: This does not apply to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
We all know that Gary Bettman has been rigging the entire league for years to make sure Sidney Crosby raises the Cup as often as possible.
Of course, it sucks when a bad call hurts your team.
We've even heard that a referee may have made a bad call before Gary Bettman came to the NHL.
But that's not the point.
It doesn't matter when it happens or how it happens or what team it happens against.
What matters is that it happens.
Of course, referees are human and it's understandable that they make mistakes.
Often times the referee can't see the puck, or he doesn't have the right angle on a penalty call.
It's unfortunate, but it's understandable.
Sometimes the difference between a goal counting and a goal being disallowed is a fraction of a second and referees need to make the right call quickly. And sometimes they make mistakes.
That's not to say it's right, though.
The NHL should be doing whatever it can to improve the quality of their referees so that they make the right calls more often.
However, bad judgment calls are not the only issue with officiating in the NHL.
Things like "make up calls" are conscious decisions made by referees.
They're not calls made in the heat of a fast-paced game.
They're not the result of being out of position or having a puck lost in a crowd.
NHL referees, in almost every game, try to "even up" penalty calls.
It's gotten to the point where it's expected.
How many times have you heard a coach or GM complain that one team received more penalties than the other?
The NHL has established the fact that both teams will have a similar number of chances on the power play and, when they don't, the referees will do their best to even things up.
It's ridiculous and it's essentially an NHL standard now.
Those calls are not caused by an incorrect decision made in a split second.
They are caused by an ingrained mentality among NHL referees.
A mentality that should change.
Anyway, after the jump, NHL.com talked to Ray Shero about the Penguins' depth.
"Our depth is being tested," Shero told NHL.com.
Of course, that hasn't stopped NHL.com from speculating that the Penguins should make a trade.
Why would the Penguins make a trade or sign a free agent to solve a problem they'll have for maybe a month in November?
"That's a good feeling going into every game thinking you can win the game," Shero said. "It's not always going to go our way every night and we know that, but we have to keep playing the right way and we think in the long run it's going to be a good thing for us."
In other news, Brooks Orpik will be dishing out Free Candy on Saturday.
And the Penguins presented John Barbero with his Stanley Cup ring today.
Rumor has it that one of our best gameday characters has resumed skating and could be in the line-up tomorrow night against the Thrashers.
We'll keep you updated.