Falling victim to a number of highly dubious calls from the same referee (Stephane Auger) in the critical dying moments of the third period, the Canucks found themselves short-handed and unable to repel a final push by the Predators which saw them notch up their decisive third goal.
Seemingly copping the brunt of Auger’s suspect whistle-blowing, star Alex Burrows, was effectively taken out of the game while seeking his third hat-trick of goals in only 4 games. In a somewhat emotional response to the events of the night, Burrows did something during the post-game warm down that is generally frowned upon in the sporting world – he called out Auger on his officiating and, more interestingly, revealed details of a bizarre pre-game conversation between the two.
“It was personal. It started in warmup, before the anthem,” Burrows said of Auger’s penalty calling. “(Auger) came over to me and he said I made him look bad in Nashville on the (Jerred) Smithson hit and he said he was going to get me back tonight.”
Now, I was there at the game last night and was floored, along with 18,500+ other fans, when Auger’s calls that in question were made. I DO NOT condone players speaking out about refs at any time. In fact I believe Burrows should probably have confided in Coach AV over the night’s incidents and let team management make a formal complaint and take it from there.
Instead, Burrows spoke his mind and has copped a $2,500 fine for his trouble.
But here’s where I want to throw my two-bobs’ worth in. My issue isn’t necessarily with the calls that were made, with the ultimate Canucks loss, or with Burrows’ comments. My beef is with Stephane Auger and the arrogance and audacity he showed by approaching Burrows in the pre-game skate (which has been caught on tape), and delivering the ego-driven, alleged tirade that is now making front page sports news.
For the doubters out there… doesn’t it seem more than just a little coincidental that the majority of the worst calls from last night’s game were handed down by Auger to Burrows??
If you’re a hockey fan, or more importantly a passionate Canucks fan like me, then chances are you have your own opinion on what has transpired in the past 24 hours and what should happen next.
If you do, please take some time to participate in my poll below, and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.