It’s been like clockwork in this series.
There’s a stoppage in play. The Bruins make their line change. The Leafs make their line change. The teams get set for a faceoff.
Players approach the dot. We’re ready to go. Let’s do that hockey! And then...
LINESMAN STANDS UP WITH A FLOURISH. RAISES HIS ARM TRIUMPHANTLY.
LINESMAN: “You have violated the sanctity of the faceoff circle. You, sir, are OUT.”
PLAYER SKATES AWAY FEELING SHAME
CROWD REJOICES THAT THE SANCTITY OF THE CIRCLE IS INTACT.
What, that’s not how it goes down?
I’ll end my screen-writing career and get to the point: the “faceoff violations” in this series have been downright ridiculous, and need to stop.
Sure, the NHL has faceoff rules for a reason. You don’t want guys cheating or getting an unfair advantage.
However, the linesmen in this Bruins-Leafs series seem determined to get themselves more camera time at every faceoff.
It’s not slanted toward one team either. Patrice Bergeron has been kicked out. David Krejci has been kicked out. So has Tyler Bozak, Auston Matthews, etc. I’m surprised Tuukka Rask hasn’t been kicked out yet, frankly.
What exactly are these rules that are being violated? Glad you asked! Let a linesman teach you.
I find it very hard to believe that players are cheating as often as this video would have you believe is necessary to get them kicked out.
I thought it might just be me who was going nuts about the faceoffs, but a quick Twitter search and a discussion with a few friends found that I am, surprisingly, sane.
At one point in tonight’s game, which featured plenty of free-flowing, frenetic action, I counted three faceoffs out of five in a sequence that saw SOMEONE thrown off the dot.
FACEOFFS ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS, SIR.
Let’s assume the linesmen are just trying to crack down and are following all the rules. If that’s the case, isn’t it odd that there hasn’t been a single faceoff violation penalty given in the series?
Somehow, every single player learns immediately and the team doesn’t commit another error. WEIRD.
I’m not cynical enough to actually mean it when I say the linesmen are trying to make themselves part of the show. They probably are just trying to keep things tight.
But when you look at some of the great centers in this series, why can’t they just let the faceoff be the faceoff? If it’s truly egregious, sure, toss a guy. But if it’s not, please, just drop the puck.
The games will probably end 10 minutes sooner.