Is the league cracking down?

Published November 5, 2021 at 11:05

Last night there were 4 penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct. I know these penalties usually occur, but 4 in a single night is surprising especially considering 2 of those were for players chirping the officials.

Every year in the NHL there seems to be a new trendy penalty call that the referees try to enforce and you've got to wonder if this year's just might be for the excessive arguing.

Tuesday night when the Maple Leafs played the Vegas Golden Knights, Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds was called for a hooking penalty and when he turned to say something to the referee he was immediately threatened with an additional 2 minutes.

Fast forward to tonight and Matthew Tkachuk was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for chirping the officials from the bench after 3 missed calls against the Dallas Stars.

I know what you're thinking it's Tkachuk, he probably deserved it and in you're probably right, but the next call is a lot more surprising. After a phantom boarding call on Pavel Buchnevich his teammate Vladimir Tarasenko was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for his displeasure in the call.

Unlike Tkachuk, Tarasenko is not known for his outburst and it shows because this was his first penalty since February 10th, 2019.

So the question has to be asked, are the referees trying to crackdown on these sorts of outbursts? Are they trying to keep the spotlight off themselves?

Well maybe and just maybe the officials should focus on being accountable and doing a better job on the ice instead of focusing on keeping players quiet.
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