There's a book out called, "The Fix Is In: The Showbiz Manipulations of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NASCAR", by Brian Tuohy. I've heard the author interviewed a couple of times by Ian Punnit on Coast to Coast, and once on a Vancouver radio station too. He convinced me that there's fixing going on, even in the NHL.
So I didn't think it was just sour grapes when I watched GM Mike Gillis' at a press conference today, after the Vancouver Canuck's loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, saying that the officiating has been highly suspect. He said the number of calls against the Canucks is making it almost impossible for the Canucks to win. Gillis said that in the last four games, Chicago has had 69% more power plays than Vancouver. In the last four games when the score has been tight, a one or two goal difference, Chicago has had 100% more power plays than Vancouver. As Gillis read a list of statistics to support his claim that there has been nowhere near "a level playing field", I suspected, "The Fix Is In".
Here's an excerpt from Gillis' statement at the press conference that I pulled from the CBC website:
"One of the most difficult things to understand is why there has been such a power play discrepancy in the series. The Chicago Blackhawks have had 11 more power plays and a penalty shot. No other series has a disparity which is even close.
"I'm not sure how you explain that discrepancy," Gillis said. "We're going to be very hard-pressed to win hockey games if through an entire series when the score is tight, they get 75 per cent more power plays than we do. That's just the reality and the facts we're facing. When you break down the [Sunday] video, there are some extraordinary plays to explain with what has gone on.
"I don't know how to explain it. I'm just giving you the facts. It's easy to stand here and be emotional and look at the hit like the Bickell one on Bieksa and jump up and down and scream and yell. These are facts. They're undeniable. People think we don't have a killer instinct. It's pretty tough to have it when you're killing penalties all the time."
I'd like Tuohy to take a look at Gillis' statistics.
Sports is a business after all and there was a powerful economic incentive to stretch the series between Vancouver and Chicago out into 7 games. The 7th game is generating massive excitement and media coverage and will attract a massive number of viewers.