Does the NHL hate the Sabres? The obvious answer is no. It seems ridiculous to think that it is possible for the NHL to hate the Sabres or any other team in the league. For years I have argued that there is no way that the NHL would ever be biased against any member of the league despite people making strong arguments to the contrary. Unfortunately I am starting to doubt my own beliefs. Maybe it is possible for the NHL to be biased against the Sabres.
What finally changed my mind? It seems simple and petty but it was the game on Saturday night against the Thrashers. The officiating seemed so biased that it was painful to watch. It was so bad that one of our avid readers( that always gives the officials the benefit of the doubt) was disgusted with what he was watching. I know that officiating is hit or miss and could be good or bad on any given night but it wasn't the game Saturday that made me start to question the NHL, it was just the last straw.
This was a post that I have contemplated for a long time and I thought it seemed like sour grapes from a disappointed fan. A fan of a team that has never won a Stanley Cup. A fan from a city that has suffered through years of sports disappointment. A fan from a city that always seems to be the butt of jokes from sports fans across North America.
I decided it was time to write this post and let you be the judge. Are the Sabres hated by the NHL? There are plenty of facts that support that contention.
Scott Hartnell Goal against Sabres on March 10, 2009
This goal by Scott Hartnell was allowed after being reviewed by the WAR ROOM in Toronto despite the obvious chest bump by Scott Hartnell.
Jason Pominville Disallowed Goal February 17
You will have to skip until 1:15 of the video to see the Pominville disallowed goal.
It is pretty clear that both of these plays were just about identical yet the NHL WAR ROOM in Toronto had two completely different rulings. Is this evidence that the Sabres are hated by the NHL? One incident can't be the basis of an argument that the NHL hates the Sabres.
I'm not the only one that is confused by the NHL's ruling on these two similar situations. Goose's Roost asks How is that a Goal?
Do you need more evidence that the NHL may have a bias against the Sabres. Do you remember Brett Hull's skate in the crease in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals? How about the Flyers goal through the side of the net in the 2000 playoffs?
Need more evidence that the NHL hates the Sabres? Follow the jump for more evidence that the NHL hates the Sabres. This is just from this season...
Denis Gauthier was suspended for this hit on Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks.
but he was not suspended for this hit on Patrick Kaleta.
How does the NHL expect us to take them seriously when they allow things like this to happen? I guess that a body check on a player that is hunched over is worse than a punch to the face of a player that is not expecting it. I see the NHL's logic here...don't you? (note: sarcasm)
There are plenty of incidents that are similar to these listed above. I know thet Anaheim Ducks have cried foul and believe that the NHL is biased towards them. Maybe their contention isn't that far off base. Maybe there are teams that the NHL doesn't look at as favorably as others.
Maybe it isn't the entire NHL that hates the Sabres but at some point they have to be called out for their inconsistencies regarding the Buffalo Sabres. I'm still not sure where stand on this issue but I'm starting to believe it more and more everyday.
I don't believe that there is a master plan to be biased against the Sabres. I am however, starting to believe that the people in charge just simply don't like the Sabres and that is why things don't seem to go the Sabres way.
Am I just an angry Sabres fan or is there a bias against the Buffalo Sabres?