This is the final game review in our series. This game was the April 9th season finale against the Canucks, a 4-3 OT win for Vancouver. The referees for this game were Mike Leggo and Kendrick Nicholson. The most targeted players in this game were Nugent-Hopkins for the Oilers (4 uncalled infractions) and Alex Burrows for the Canucks (2 uncalled infractions).
This game was something of a rubber match between the two teams, with the previous game being a 6-2 blowout of the Canucks at the final game in Rexall Place/Northlands Coliseum. The previous game was a relatively penalty-filled affair with a dozen called infractions, although many of the officiating standards we had noted going into the previous game were turned on their head.
Although there were overall fewer penalties called in this game, and fewer uncalled infractions as well, we witness the same ratio coming to the fore, approximately 2 uncalled infractions by the opposing team to every 1 by the Oilers while maintaining a more or less even penalty-call rate. What grabs my attention almost immediately in the table below is the number of “fair” technical infractions committed by Canucks that went uncalled. These would be hooking, holding, interference, and so on; all of them calls that interrupt the flow of the game and are, for the most part, directly attributed to reduced speed and offensive opportunity within the game.
Below we have only the fair and obvious infractions separated into technical and physical fouls. Here we see the uncalled technical infractions by the Canucks essentially triple those by the Oilers, yet there remains a nearly-even rate of penalties applied.
In the physical category there is something of a small-scale reversal in that the Oilers committed 3 uncalled physical fouls to 2 by the Canucks. Those uncalled infractions committed by the Oilers were a cross-check on Burrows at 11:03 of the 1st period, a roughing against Burrows at 2:58 of the 2nd period (part of a roughing retaliation along with Adam Pardy), and an uncalled cross-check on Daniel Sedin.
In fact, the bottom table and chart represent the only instance in this brief exercise where we have seen the Oilers carry the majority of uncalled infractions, notable because it is the exception that at the very least appears to suggest a rule.
This concludes our game-by-game examination of the officiating of the final seven Oilers’ games of the 2015-2016 season. Over the course of this exercise there have been some common trends that have developed and I have posed several questions that we will revisit in the final article on this project. There we will review the entire body of data from the collected Oilers games and I will also reveal the data collected from seven non-Oiler games that were recorded and logged in the same fashion in order to provide some context.
Raw data for this game with links to the previous articles below.
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