Photo credit: Telecomasia.net

Oilers fans livid with questionable refereeing and dives from Canucks

Published May 9, 2024 at 3:47 PM

Before the puck even dropped at last night's game, a cloud of skepticism already hung over the heads of Edmonton Oilers fans.

Many among the Oilers faithful harbor strong reservations about referee Steve Kozari's impartiality when calling games involving their team. Last night's playoff encounter only intensified these doubts, leading to an outpouring of frustration from the fanbase.

From the game's outset, controversy struck. Connor McDavid, the Oilers' captain, seemed to be obstructed during an early board battle—a moment caught plainly in the view of an official who notably refrained from calling a penalty. This non-call set the tone for what many fans felt would be a night of questionable officiating.

Controversial Calls Stir Tensions

As the game progressed, the calls—or lack thereof—continued to stir the pot. Connor Brown received a penalty for what many saw as a minimal holding infraction against Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks. The reaction from Hughes, dramatized by a swift drop to his knees, did not sit well with Oilers supporters, who quickly dubbed him 'Swim Hughes' for his perceived embellishment.

Dylan Holloway's later penalty for tripping Elias Pettersson added fuel to the fire. The contact appeared slight, but Pettersson's theatrical leg swing convinced the referees otherwise, resulting in a tripping call that many Oilers fans viewed as underserved, especially given the high stakes of a playoff game.

Fans and Players React to Officiating

Social media was abuzz with reactions, with several posts highlighting the disparity in penalty calls between the Oilers and the Canucks. Oilers ended the game with double the penalties of the Canucks, a statistic that did little to quell the ire of Edmonton's fanbase.

Amidst accusations of bias and poor officiating, some fans have suggested that perhaps it's time for Kozari to be reassigned away from Oilers games to prevent further controversy.

Despite the heated emotions, it remains highly unlikely that Kozari harbors any personal vendetta against the Oilers. However, given the historical context of these matchups and the consistently contentious nature of the games he officiates, a change might be in the best interest for all parties involved as the playoffs continue.

Canucks' Tactics Under Scrutiny

The Canucks weren't free from criticism either. Accusations of diving and attempting to manipulate penalty calls were rampant, with claims that such tactics are undermining the spirit of the game. The NHL has even stepped in, holding meetings with both teams to address concerns about embellishment—an issue that has tainted the series' competitive integrity.

As the series progresses, both teams and their fans hope for a shift towards more consistent and fair officiating, to let the players decide the outcome on the ice rather than it being influenced unduly by controversial calls.
May 9   |   143 answers
Oilers fans livid with questionable refereeing and dives from Canucks

Do you think the refs were fooled by the Canucks' embellishment?

Yes, Canucks were diving9767.8 %
No, right penalties were called3725.9 %
See Results96.3 %
Latest 10 stories