B-Rad’s posse making sure he only skates on clean ice.
If you’re a Detroit fan, it’s a bit of a stressful time right now. The Red Wings are in the midst of the NHL playoffs. The Tigers are getting our hopes up for a great season and we aren’t sure if we are going to be let down. The economy in Detroit is slumping. Times are tough.
In the midst of these trying times, one man has stepped forward as a shining beacon of inconsistency and head-scratching decision making: Brad “B-Rad” Watson.
Look, I am
not really COMPLETELY over the whole Game 4, goal “wave off” that Watson messed up, but that is not why I am doing this. Honestly, this segment is just something to break up the regular sports recaps and commentary with some humor, while showing people everywhere that mistakes aren’t just limited to paperwork and typing. So who better than “B-Watt” to follow?
Here’s how this is going to work: Throughout the remainder of the playoffs (and hopefully into next season!), we will monitor every game to see when our boy Brad gets the whistle and stripes. Then I’ll tell you about it, about how well/not well he did, and maybe some other random tidbit or something along those lines. If we get really lucky, I might even be able to drop some advance intelligence on what games Watson is scheduled to officiate, in which case we can potentially rally some local supporters to show up and give him some love.
So let’s set our baseline: We obviously ALL know what happened in Game 4 of Detroit and Anaheim, but is that the TRUE beginning of B-Rad’s travails? NSFMF. Let’s go back to Game 2 of the Vancouver/Chicago Western semifinal.
B-Rad and his super sidekick Tim “Banana” Peel are calling the game, and ring up Kevin Bieksa for hooking Dustin Byfuglien. The call was questionable at best, and eventually turned into a two-man advantage, on which Chicago scored to tie the game en route to an eventual win. It was at this point that the head-scratching began. Let’s call it the “What Was He Thinking (WWHT)” factor.
WWHT streak: 1 game.
We all know what happened next.
WWHT streak: 2
Obviously, the uproar over B-Rad’s quality of judgment reached the level of, oh I don’t know, a dull roar, but just as quickly it subsided, as it always tends to do when calls like this are made
May 8, 2009: Penguins vs. Capitals, Game 4, Eastern Conference Semifinal
The Participants: Our hero, B-Rad, and his trusty sidekick “Banana Boy” Tim Peel
- Capitals called for six penalties (2 Cross Checking, 2 Tripping, 1 Interference, 1 Holding)
- Penguins called for four penalties (1 Holding the Stick, 1 Elbowing, 1 Slashing, 1 Cross Checking)
Nothing out of the ordinary here, but…
Alex Ovechkin missing a check and going knee-to-knee with Sergei Gonchar, effectively ending Gonchar’s night and possibly his postseason.
B-Rad/Banana decided two for tripping would suffice.
Yes, it was a missed check, but c’mon! Ovechkin almost blew out his knee and the best you guys come up with is a tripping call?!?! Give me a break and at least call something like “kneeing”. However, this call, while odd, wasn’t really that bad. Ovi would get no fine or suspension for a play that pretty much was an accident, which is the correct move. However, The Watson/Peel combo once again found themselves in a situation where the crime and punishment didn’t necessarily match up, prompting fans and writers to jump all over the call. With that in mind, B-Rad and Timmay get the WWHT point.
WWHT streak: 3 games
After making his mark in Pittsburgh, our fearless friend packed it up and headed to Boston, where another interesting night would await.
May 10, 2009: Bruins vs. Hurricanes, Game 5, Eastern Conference Semifinal
The Participants: The dynamic duo of B-Rad and Timmay.
- Bruins called for 12 penalties (2 Interference, 1 High Sticking, 2 Cross Checking, 4 Roughing, 1 Hooking, 1 Fighting, 1 Misconduct)
- Hurricanes called for 17 penalties (1 Holding the Stick, 1 Interference, 2 Slashing, 1 Too Many Men, 4 Roughing, 1 High Sticking, 1 Elbowing, 1 Delaying the Game, 2 Fighting, 1 Cross Checking, 1 Instigator, 1 Game Misconduct)
OK, we all expected a physical game, but this is insane. If you look at the breakdown of the 29 penalties, all but eight were called in the third period. It looks like Watson/Peel decided that, given their recent struggles, the easiest way to handle this situation would be to throw the rule book at the players.
I’m not sure the scorekeeper had enough room on the score sheet for all of the penalties.
In the meantime, the Hurricanes’ Scott Walker cold-cocked Aaron Ward, ending his night and possibly his playoffs. Peel and Watson got this one right, hitting up Walker with all kinds of penalty minutes, but, yet again, the damage was done. Ward, a solid defenseman for Boston, was taken off the ice, and may not see it again for awhile.
The fact is, Watson and Peel waited too long to get the game under control, and now somebody is hurt. Plus, any game where 29 penalties are called isn’t even a game; it’s a fight. WWHT calling 29 penalties? You’re guess is as good as mine.
WWHT streak: 4 games
Well then. Right about now, I bet B-Rad is wishing he could just get a game where the penalty calls are even and he doesn’t have to keep players from getting hurt or have to wave off game tying goals. But that’s what the playoffs are all about, so let’s see how our hero bounces back.
Until next time…