Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Paul Devorski

Several fans in Nationwide Arena's section 109 tonight said NHL referee Paul Devorski made a "crying face" and an obscene gesture during the third period of the Blue Jackets' 4-3 shootout win over the Wild.

 NHL director of officiating Terry Gregson confirmed to The Dispatch this morning that the league is investigating the matter.
 Devorski, in a late-night email exchange with The Dispatch, denied the allegations but would make no further public comment. NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell had no comment when contacted by The Dispatch.
 Roughly 15 fans seated in or around the area sent emails or Twitter messages to The Dispatch shortly after the incident, which occurred during a stoppage in play. Blue Jackets fans were giving Devorski grief for what they thought was a missed highstick by a Wild player to the face of Jackets captain Rick Nash. "Two guys in front of us started giving the refs (grief) after they clearly missed a call," said Ritter Hoy, who was seated five rows up from the glass in section 109. "Happens at every game, right? "Well, the No. 10 official put his fingers up and rubbed his eyes and made a crying face, like 'what are you going to do, cry?' They started giving him more (grief) and he put his middle finger up to his chin and acted like he was scratching his face. It was very, very blatant. The whole section saw it and went crazy." No. 10 is Devorski, a 21-year NHL official who is one of the most respected officials in the business. Devorski has worked Stanley Cups since the 2001 season and the last two Olympics, including the bronze medal game in 2010 and the gold medal game in 2006. This would seem out of his character. The crowd's reaction last night was audible, even from the press box. I heard it and so did the two traveling writers who cover the Wild, but the reason for the disturbance was not immediately clear. Fans were on edge most of the night, because the Wild had seven power plays, while the Blue Jackets had none. "I have to say the guys who were two rows in front of us were kind of provoking him," Hoy said. "They were pretty much provoking him. But he has to be used to that kind of stuff, right? He can't go there, can he? "They sent an usher down to see what the disturbance was all about." Samuel Costello and Jed Kinderknecht both were seated in row D of section 109. "The ref made the crying motion and then gave a disguised middle finger," Costello said. "I actually thought it was kind of funny. I have sat in those seats for over five years and have never seen an official engage fans like that."
Kinderknecht said he didn't see Devorski scratch his chin with his middle finger, perhaps because he looked away to see other fans' reactions to the "crying face."
 "(Devorski) was resting his arm on the goal and he was facing the fans," Kinderknecht said. "He wasn't hiding his face or trying to mask his gesture. I remember being surprised because I have never seen a professional ref respond to the fans like that."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bluejackets hockey

The home crowd voice its displeasure as the Blue Jackets fumbled their first power play of the game moments later.Henrik Sedin made it 6-0 at 12:46, roofing a shot over Garon on a feed from Daniel Sedin as he fended off Rostislav Klesla behind the cage.Garon was replaced by Steve Mason after the goal.Umberger made it 6-1 at 13:43.Torres tallied his second, a power-play goal, and 10th of the season on a close-range redirection at 6:46 of the third.Umberger responded with his second and 10th of the season 3 minutes later with a wrist shot.Sestito capped the scoring 6 minutes later.
This was another poor performance in front of the home croud. Pretty bad getting beat by their 3 and 4th lines.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nikita Filatov

Ken Hitchcock is still being paid by the Columbus Blue Jackets, but if he wasn’t he might be saying, “I told you so” on Nikita Filatov. Blue Jackets new coach Scott Arniel can’t get anything out of the kid either. Filatov has no goals in 23 games. When he was sent to Springfield of the American Hockey League on Friday, it was a wake-up call. It was also for his own good. I have to say the fans i have talked to agree.