The Monday After: Time to chill out

Referee Liam Sewell was subjected to some strong abuse on social media (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

Time to chill out

“Stop going, if it gets you so wound up.”

Those were my words last week when I wrote on this very blog about the brainless wonder who started a petition to try and remove Stefan Hogarth from refereeing after Cardiff’s losses to Belfast last week.

This week, we have another clown who thought it would be a good idea to throw a “chuck a puck” at referee Liam Sewell after Sheffield Steelers lost to the Devils on Saturday.

Whether it was a foam puck, or anything else, it’s simply unacceptable for anyone to think this is okay to throw any item at an official.

If it was thrown to just to get rid of it or it was thrown in anger, the behaviour towards officials is nothing short of disgraceful at times and I’m not sticking exclusively to ice hockey in this.

Without the officials, there wouldn’t be games and as I said last week, they’ll get things worse from time to time, but do they really deserve to get things thrown at them?

Sport can be passionate and yes, you can get caught up in the moment and even get carried away.  I’ve done it myself at times, but never to a point where I feel I have to throw something at someone.

Nowadays, for me anyway, I don’t get carried away with wins or losses.  Maybe it’s down to getting older.  Maybe it’s down to having more pressing things to worry about.  Maybe I just don’t care enough.

Guys like Liam Sewell, Tom Darnell, Andy Dalton and everyone else give up their weekends to do something they enjoy.  Do you think they do it to make money?

Like the people in the stands and the players who play, they do it for the love of the game.  Irrespective of their perceived ability, good, bad or indifferent, they don’t deserve anywhere near the flack they get.

One thing that has improved is coaches talking about them, or rather not, post game and the league, even when I was there, started clamping down on it, with some thinking it was okay to slaughter the officials.

The rule was simple.  By all means, disagree with the calls, but don’t bring an official’s professionalism into question. Sadly, too many fans are quick to jump to ‘bias’ or worse, ‘corrupt’ as a way of justifying bad calls against their team.

The way I see it, if you feel so strongly enough that you feel the need to behave this way and on a regular basis, then you need to take yourself away and look at yourself and your conduct.

There are things far more deserving of behind so upset about in life and you’re doing it to guys who, like you, are there to enjoy their level of involvement in the game.

Whether you like them or not, the officials do a great job and like us all in our own little worlds, they make mistakes.  If you’re going to be stupid about them, maybe ice hockey isn’t the sport for you.

Northeastern Huskies – the 2019 winners of the Friendship Four (PHOTO: William Cherry/Press Eye)

Another great Friendship Four success and an apology

Well done to Belfast and Northeastern Huskies, the winners, in what proved to be another great weekend for the Friendship Four tournament.

By all accounts, it was another great spectacle and I know everyone there made sure they put on the best possible show for everyone who takes part or goes to the games.

But I’ll apologise now for what will be an unpopular opinion.  For me, it’s not a tournament I can ever get excited about whenever it comes up and other than showcase some good talent in the NCAA, I’m not really a fan.

I saw a little of it at the weekend in the hope that it may have got the juices flowing, but it didn’t I’m afraid and I’m still not convinced by it.

But that’s just me and I know those who went had an amazing time so I take nothing away from the positive vibes this weekend has brought again.  Maybe one day I’ll come round, but not today unfortunately.

It shouldn’t be long before Coventry coach Danny Stewart is smiling again…hopefully (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

Reversal of fortune

It seems that whenever I write or say good things about a team and a winning run they’ve been on, they suddenly lose games and they ever so slightly come off the rails.

So, I’m hoping it has the reverse effect on Coventry Blaze as they slip down the table on a run of two wins from 12 in all competitions and five consecutive losses.

There are decent players in Danny Stewart’s team and there are games where they can score almost at will, having seen them fire six past Belfast, as much as nine against Glasgow and four on regular occurrences.

This season has shown that teams can hit bad runs and rise again once they get the first win that helps reassure them and the coach that everything is not as bad as it seems.

On that note and by that logic, it should be alright on the night when they host Nottingham Panthers at the Skydome.  The same Panthers on a run of nine wins in their last 12.  No problem at all for them.

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