Officiating is an inexact science, which is understandable considering it's a job done by humans, and human vision is only okay, relative to other creatures. That said, I'm still trying to figure out how the zebras managed to miss the nasty two-handed slash Taylor Hall delivered to Zbynek Michalek in the third period of the Oilers' 3-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Slashes go unnoticed. It happens. But what really gets me is that Hall has the stick raised above his head for a good second before he perpetrates this one. You'd think someone would have spotted the moment he lifted his stick like it was axe pulled from a scabbard, especially since there were two officials behind him at the blueline that could have seen it. But no one did. No call.
Granted, the makeup call quickly followed, as Nail Yakupov was whistled for a penalty shortly thereafter.
But Hall skated away from the incident discipline-free, and I have to wonder if the DOPS might decide to correct that. I don't know if this calls for a suspension, but I could see a fine, especially since Hall has already been suspended once this season for hanging the knee on Cal Clutterbuck. His repeat offender status could be enough to push this into supplemental discipline territory.
It should, in my opinion. You can understand why Hall is frustrated. It's been a rough year. The Oilers needed two points Wednesday night and they didn't get it. Plus, defenders play him very, very aggressively -- infuriatingly so, I would imagine -- and pushing back is important. But this is the second time this year that Hall has utilized a dirty play to do it, and that's the sort of pattern that needs to be snuffed out immediately.
- Sports & Recreation
- Taylor Hall
- Zbynek Michalek