Chris Pronger and the Flyers shafted by bad call

27 11 2010

Not only a terrible call- game winning goal in OT disallowed, gets a penalty for “The Avery Rule” (first time since it was invented) and Flyers lose in the shootout.













Devin Harris ejected from Nets win over Clippers for flagrant foul on forward Blake Griffin

16 11 2010

LOS ANGELES – The Nets spent the better part of last week discussing their toughness, or lack thereof.

The lessons followed an embarrassing loss to Miami, when LeBron James and Co. performed circus-act dunks with a free path to the hoop, prompting coach Avery Johnson to institute a no-layup rule.

Devin Harris took it to heart in Monday night’s 110-96 victory over the Clippers. He also took it a little too far.

The Nets’ point guard stopped an easy bucket by throwing his arms around the neck of Clippers rookie sensation Blake Griffin, who was on a clean breakaway in transition. Griffin fell backward and Harris was handed a Flagrant-2 foul, resulting in an automatic ejection.

He could also face a suspension, depending on a league review. It was not a good way to start a four-game West Coast road trip for the team’s leading scorer and floor general.

“That was a tough call,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said. “Devin wasn’t trying to hurt the guy and he definitely wasn’t trying to commit a flagrant foul.”

The Nets (4-6) responded positively against the hapless Clippers (1-10), who were without two injured starters – Chris Kaman and Baron Davis.

Brook Lopez and Travis Outlaw led the Nets with 24 and 23 points, respectively. The Nets also got an encouraging effort from Kris Humprhies (12 rebounds, 13 points), who solidified his starting power-forward role as the gritty rebounder to complement Lopez’s finesse. Humphries helped hold Griffin to 11 points in 29 minutes.

The Clippers pulled within three in the fourth quarter, but Lopez, Outlaw and Humphries had the response.

The Nets went on a 14-4 run for a 38-27 lead to start the second quarter. On the Nets’ next possession, L.A. center DeAndre Jordan picked up a steal and fed an outlet pass to Griffin, who had an unobstructed path to two points.

Harris, who was trailing the play, reeled in the 2009 first overall pick with an over-the-shoulder tackle, waking up the crowd of 14,516 at the Staples Center. Harris tried to catch Griffin as he fell – a demonstration that there was no malicious intent – but the horse-collaring was enough evidence.

The referees reviewed the replay and confirmed the Flagrant-2 foul. Harris’ ejection shook up the rotation, giving minutes to undrafted rookie Ben Uzoh, but one regular was nailed to the bench: Troy Murphy, who was demoted from starter to third-string power forward.

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NHL’s director of officiating has reviewed Game 2

4 05 2010


If the Detroit Red Wings complained about the officiating in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Sharks, they likely did so through former NHL referee Mick McGeough, who is serving as the series manager.

The NHL has a manager at every playoff game, and he reports to Terry Gregson, the senior vice president and director of officiating for the NHL while also communicating with the on-ice officials and each team’s general manager and coach.

Red Wings players bit their tongues when talking to the media after Sunday’s loss, and Wings coach Mike Babcock said: “I know they’re frustrated, but they’ve got to stay out of the box.”

The Wings were penalized 10 times in the game, including three straight in the third period.

Gregson, through a league spokesman, responded to an interview request from the Free Press today by saying he already had spoken to McGeough about the game.

“Yes, Mick and I have talked and reviewed the game,” Gregson said through a spokesman.

Gregson said that the series manager “speaks directly with the officials after the game and then reviews it the next day as well. He makes himself available to the team for discussion.”

Gregson appeared on a radio show with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman last week and tackled the topic of whether referees are instructed to call games differently in the playoffs versus the regular season.

“Personally, there is nothing ever said or written to say, ‘Gentlemen, back off,'” Gregson said last week. “The message from me to them is, ‘Gentlemen, stay the course.’ It’s important that we maintain the integrity, because the game is everything, so keep calling the penalties and keep being courageous.”

The Wings were the the second-least penalized team in the NHL during the regular season, averaging 8.8 penalty minutes a game. They’re averaging 13.9 per game in the playoffs and have 36 penalty minutes in the two losses to the Sharks.