Connor McDavid and a referee
Photo credit: Scouting the Refs on X

Refs called out for bias and falling for embellishment in Oilers game

Published May 9, 2024 at 1:05 PM

Before last night's game even began, Oilers fans thought the officiating would be horrible. Plenty of Oilers fans believe referee Steve Kozari calls a poor game for Edmonton, and last night was definitely a bad one.

On the very first play of the game, Connor McDavid was clearly held up while trying to escape from a board battle. A referee stood right there watching the incident, but just didn't call a penalty for whatever reason.

Next, Connor Brown was called for the softest holding call in playoff history against Quinn Hughes. While on the forecheck, Brown did make some contact with Hughes, but he collapsed easily to his knees pleading the referees for a penalty. Oilers fans were teasing Hughes for the perceived dive, calling him ‘Swim Hughes'.

Later on, Dylan Holloway was called for a tripping penalty against Elias Pettersson. Holloway did make light contact with Pettersson's skate, but Pettersson fully swung out his leg to really sell the call. Late in a game in the second round of the playoffs, it's just a weak penalty call and an overblown reaction from Pettersson.

Oilers fans call out referee for bias and bad penalties in favour of the Canucks

The Oilers finished the game with double the amount of penalties as the Canucks, with two penalties in particular being very questionable - as well as the several non-calls in favour of the Canucks. It was objectively a poorly officiated game, and Oilers fans are calling out the British Columbian born Kozari for having a personal bias against the Oilers.

The Canucks were clearly trying to sell penalties all over the ice, and they found themselves to be successful a few times. Especially when special teams are so important now, this diving is just ridiculous. The NHL was aware of this, as they even met with the Canucks and Oilers to warn about embellishment before this series.

It's highly unlikely that Kozari really does have a personal grudge against the Oilers and is taking it out on the team. However, last night's game was extremely poorly officiated, and considering the history of these poorly called games with Kozari and the Oilers, maybe they should just be separated for the rest of the playoffs.
May 9   |   157 answers
Refs called out for bias and falling for embellishment in Oilers game

Do you think the refs got fooled by embellishment from the Canucks?

Yes, Canucks were diving11472.6 %
No, right penalties were called3522.3 %
See Results85.1 %
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