January 13 2010 10:38AM
photo - Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images
Alexandre Burrows learned his fate last night after his derisive comments launched at referee Stephane Auger following the game Monday against the Nashville Predators. Burrows was not suspended, but he did receive a $2500 fine from the NHL for his comments.
But that wasn't the big news from the incident.
The big news from the incident is that the NHL has apparently closed the matter completely now. According to Darren Dreger from TSN, the NHL states that there simply isn't enough evidence to proceed with any disciplinary action against Auger on this issue.
I hate to side with the NHL brass on any issue, but I have to agree with the decision here. There is mounting circumstantial evidence that Auger is a poor ref. He's made bad calls, he's missed goals, and he certainly not a favourite amongst the players. My article yesterday has some great links to support this. However, there is no evidence to corroborate what Burrows claimed. There is only video proof of Burrows and Auger speaking before the game.
Given how shaky and emotional Burrows was after the Predators game, I tend to believe him. But I have no proof. I don't think that Burrows has any reason to lie about it. But I have no proof. The detailed that Burrows provided were specific and direct. But I have no proof. And that is exactly what the NHL said to itself last night in dealing with Auger.
The NHL does a great job of sweeping its messes under the rug. In this case, with no direct proof of any wrongdoing, it's all they can do.
Game Day Roll Call - Canucks @ Wild
The Wild are heating up while the Canucks are cooling off. The Wild have won three in a row, while the Canucks are coming off back-to-back home losses after winning 7 out of 9 games. The Wild are fantastic at home, while the Canucks have only recently improved to average on the road.
The good news for the Canucks is that Wild are giving up a surprising number of goals this year, and the Canucks have a great record against the Wild in their last several outings. The Canucks have won 8 out of their last 10 meetings against the Wild, including their last four visits to the Twin Cities. In fact, the Canucks are a blistering 7-3 in Minnesota in their last ten trips to the State of Hockey.
But this isn't the same Wild team they've faced in the past.
I predicted on Twitter following the Predators debacle that this would start a mini-slide for the Canucks. I see this Burrows incident continuing to distract the team. It will certainly throw Burrows off his game, which has been brilliant of late. I predicted a five-game losing streak, with this being the third of those five losses. Given how well the Wild are playing lately, and given how the Canucks have cooled off, and given the distraction of this Burrows/Auger issue... I don't any reason to change my prediction.