NHL referees make mistakes.
Sometimes they should be called out for those mistakes. There are times when they are criticized that they shouldn’t be.
Today I come to the defence of referee Gord Dwyer on the heels of Monday’s Leafs and Lightning game.
Mid-way through the third period of a 3-3 tie, Tampa Bay’s Cedric Paquette threw his glove at Dwyer after the referees missed what the Lightning thought should have been a high sticking call.
Paquette threw his glove at Dwyer, then headed to the bench. Dwyer picked up the glove and whistled it back at Paquette at the bench as play went up the ice. Some of the Lightning players were quick to their feet.
You can read the profanity directed at Dwyer from assistant captain Ryan Callahan after Dwyer did it.
It was a puzzling display from some players from the Tampa bench. Why should Paquette throw his glove at an official, and yet be surprised at Dwyer’s response?
It’s an emotional game, for everyone on the ice.