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Tuesdays With Hildy: Do the Refs Intend to Blow?

It's been a bit of a long day, and I'm fried as well as short of ideas, and there's been a LOT of talk of this going around. Do the refs need to step back and let guys play, and do they need to figure out what the hell a penalty is? I, like a lot of you, have been watching the playoffs, and the thing that I've been struck by more than anything else is the inconsistancy of what the refs are calling. I know they're horrible during the regular season, too, and maybe it's just magnified because of the playoff situation, but this whole thing looks just off.

The series that stand out the most to me as being reffed horribly are the New Jersey Devils/Philadelphia Flyers series, the Sharks/Avalanche series, and the current Sharks/Detroit one. There have been iffy calls throughout, but those three have really stuck out in my mind the most. Are these things going on, or are they byproducts of hysterical fan bases wearing tinfoil hats?

What gives, for example, on Rob Blake's boarding of Peter Mueller during the quarter-finals. Full on thrust into the boards that wound up giving him a concussion. Compare this:

To this: Marian Hossa's hit on Dan Hamhuis during the Hawks' series with the Preds

How does one get nothing, and the other at least gets a major and gets looked at?

The Jersey/Flyers series wasn't one thing in particular, but just a series of constant penalties that wouldn't let the game get any sort of momentum - any of the five games. We all know about the Detroit freak-out over the 10 penalty kills the Wings were on Sunday night - half of them were warranted for sure thanks to their horribly sloppy play. Yes, a few were a bit borderline, but so were calls on the Sharks - like the goalie interference call on Dany Fuckin' Heatley when he was shoved into Howard.

What gives? Are people just imagining things, or is this more of a problem this year than it usually is?