Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Alex Burrows and the reputation call

burrows_penalty

Image Courtesy: flames.nhl.com

A funny thing happened near the end of the Canucks-Stars game tonight. With time ticking down and the Canucks pressing for the equalizing goal, it was chaos in front of Dallas Stars goal. Crosschecks, holding and interference galore, as both teams were in desperation mode. And then it happens, Alex Burrows gets called for the only penalty.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t “haha” funny.

Alex Burrows has a reputation. It is a well earned reputation. He plays the game hard, but he has embellished over the years and made referees look silly. And refs are exacting their revenge.

Now, I’m not talking about a Stephane Auger situation here, nor is this a conspiracy theory article. Players get reputation calls in the NHL. It’s the case with a few guys. Sean Avery didn’t get away with much later in his career. Matt Cooke, Steve Ott, Max Lapierre and Daniel Carcillo don’t get away with much anymore either. They’re marked men.

NHL referees look for Burrows to take a penalty. They’re waiting for it. Sometimes their imagination embellishes what he actually does. Conversely, they allow other players to get away with murder against him.

Burrows is no dummy. He used to embellish on a regular basis because it worked. It got the Canucks on the power play more often and helped them win games. But Burrows knows that his tricks no longer work, so he has stopped embellishing. Unfortunately, the referees haven’t noticed this yet.

Burrows was 53rd in minor penalties in 2010-11, 12th in 2011-12 and 1st in 2012-13.

The frustrating thing with the reputation call is that it takes so long to get rid of. Burrows has cleaned up his act for over two years now, yet they treat him like he’s the biggest diver in the NHL. They also allow him to get crosschecked like crazy, without repercussion, even when it’s obvious he isn’t diving or embellishing. 

Alex Burrows isn’t diving and he was never a dirty or a dangerous player. NHL referees need to call what they see and if they’re going to make reputation calls, the least they could do is get more current with what players are actually doing.

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8 Response to Alex Burrows and the reputation call

  1. Geri on November 17, 2013

    Great blog!
    The refs are so frustrating.
    Geri

    Reply
  2. looksilly on November 17, 2013

    I've always questioned that whole "made the refs look silly" argument.

    We see players embellish all the time. On the replay the head goes back, the delayed reaction is apparent, and the commentators and reasonable fans go, "Yes, that was embellishment/diving," and they criticise the player.

    You almost never hear anyone criticize the refs except really rabid, irrational fans.

    And during their performance assessments? If the guys assessing the refs can't see that in such a fast game, any ref will be taken in by some theatre, then the NHL definitely has a problem.

    When do you hear the refs really get criticized by commentators and journalists? When they make irrational calls, like a goal disallowed that shouldn't have been, or a hooking call where the "aggressor" has only one hand on his stick and it just makes quick contact and bounces off. That's when the refs look silly.

    I don't think the refs have a legitimate complaint against players who embellish for "making them look silly."

    Reply
    • looksilly on November 17, 2013

      The refs only make themselves look silly and unprofessional in their ill-judged retaliation.

      Reply
  3. Michael on November 18, 2013

    The league needs to crack down hard on embellishment via video review. Start giving out serious suspensions for diving and it would go away. Slow motion replays make it so easy to spot dives that this could be done in a way more objective manner than is being done with head shots, and so the discipline would be way more effective on diving than it has been on head shots.

    I guess this wouldn't stop NHL refs from being the worst in sports, but at least it would take some pressure off them feeling they have to police diving by giving out reputation calls.

    Reply
  4. Fred65 on November 19, 2013

    Reputation…man there's a lot of Referees out there that have a doubtful ( & I'm being kind ) reputation. Officials should suffer the same sanctions….the blatant disallowed goal in the Dallas game should have immediate repercussions. I for one spend a lot of money watching incompetant refs at work. You could see Martel giving it to Burrows during the game. The good news is I doubt if we'll see much of Kelly Sutherland in Rogers Arena….Kelly you took it to far and by the way is Martel your buddy ?

    Reply
  5. Stick in Link: Canucks can’t score; healthy scratch Booth on November 19, 2013

    […] Rob Williams thinks that Alex Burrows doesn’t deserve all the reputation calls he’s been getting. At least, not anymore. [Rob the Hockey Guy] […]

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