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Greg Wyshynski

Blaming refs for loss: $10K; Providing quote for the ages: Priceless

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Look, the NHL had to fine Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville for opening up his yap and claiming the referees "ruined" Game 4 against the Detroit Red Wings with a two-minute roughing minor. As well as for his subtle criticism of the quality of the officiating in that game: "I think we witnessed probably the worst call in the history of sports today."

We just wish there was some sort of sportswriter-fueled legal defense fund that could help with his $10,000 fine from the NHL. You know, for all that Coach Q's given us in the last 24 hours.

His nutty outburst was one of two things: an insightful tactic or an insane tirade. He was asked today on an off-day press conference whether his attack on the referees was "an effort to take the pressure" off his young, struggling team. Said Coach Q:

"That's tough to say. I think after games, sometimes you're more emotional than other games. We have a young team. We've overcome a lot. The nice thing about our group, we seem to just move on and handle the next challenge. We obviously have a huge challenge ahead of us."

No kidding. So there's a chance this was some old-school Reg Dunlop 'rally the boys against The Man' psychology.

Or Quenneville momentarily lost his marbles and truly believed that an alleged phantom roughing call is worse than Jeffrey Maier in the Yankee Stadium outfield, Brett Hull in the Buffalo Sabres' crease and half the games Brad Watson has refereed and Angel Hernandez has umpired.

Either way, it's an embarrassing moment for an old pro. But at least he can take solace in the fact that as crazy as he sounded in his press conference, it's still 10 times saner than hiring Patrick Roy as coach/GM.

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