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(M. J. MASOTTI JR.)
(M. J. MASOTTI JR.)

Should Preds be fined <br>for criticizing officials?</br> Add to ...

This was the sequence in overtime of last night's game, where a non-call on a hit from behind on Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa turned into a questionable hooking call on Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber soon after.

Forty seconds after the penalty, Ryan Kesler tipped in the overtime winner, giving the Canucks a 2-1 series lead.



<iframe width="435" height="277" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Sb-uNmVchkk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Nashville fans and players were really upset after the game, with Predators forward David Legwand ripping referee Tim Peel for his call.

"I think it's a horrible call," Legwand told Yahoo! Sports, among others. "Obviously they're going to think it's a good call, but Kesler's obviously holding his stick. I don't know if Timmy Peel had a date or something, but he wanted to get out of here pretty quick, it looked like. It's a tough way to lose a game."

He repeated his message more than once, according to the Vancouver Sun.

"That ticky-tack in overtime is kind of tough," Legwand added. "I don't know if the ref had to be somewhere tonight. It was a tough call to take; obviously Kesler is holding on to his stick. Webby's stick shouldn't be in there in the first place, but Kesler's holding on his stick and that's a pretty touchy call for overtime.

"Someone's got to be held accountable for it. That's a bad hockey call. In the end, they get the goal and capitalize. Timmy Peel calls that and it's a bad call. Do something about it. It's kind of tough to point on one person, but that's a bad hockey call."

The officiating has had some low moments in these playoffs so far, with Canucks GM Mike Gillis going after the refs and getting a large, undisclosed fine for his troubles leading up to Game 7 of the first round.

The Buffalo Sabres also weren't very happy with some of the officiating in their series with the Philadelphia Flyers, including a hit from behind that put Tim Connolly out for the series that resulted in only a minor penalty.

The most players can be fined under the CBA is just $2,500 (U.S.) so you'd expect a whole lot more of this from individuals unless the league goes after the team itself.

Should players be able to call out referees for bad calls? Or is the NHL right to attempt to keep a lid on this?

Follow on Twitter: @mirtle

 

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