A Panthers fan claims the refs rigged a playoff series. For the Islanders. This should be fun.

Watch as the second referee on the grassy knoll completes this wraparound... - Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Have you ever read the long-defunct blog Fire Joe Morgan?

You should have. Consider their writers the pioneers in the campaign against hot takes.

Fire Joe Morgan posted for the final time in 2008. Unfortunately, the bad sports writing it chose to skewer lives on.

So in FJM fashion, let's take a journey; a dark, twisted journey into the current state of mind of a Panthers fan.

Dan Spiegel wrote this and I'll post the highlights. His words are in blockquotes, mine are not.


Vincent Trocheck was fighting back tears after Sunday's double overtime loss to the New York Islanders, ending the Florida Panthers' season too early.

Welcome back to playoff hockey, Panthers fan. For 15 of the 16 teams, their season will end in heartbreak. Then there will be a draft, and the Edmonton Oilers will pick 1st.

NHL officiating is at an all-time low.

There's no way to quantify this, but then again, this is a blog post. My favorite blog posts the results of games using cat pictures. So...sure. FIAR TEH REFZ.

There is no way to sugarcoat it.

Vincent Trocheck disagrees with your assessment.

I think you'll find later in this column that if Dan could eat NHL officials, he would consider it as an option. I don't condone cannibalism.

If Islanders fans had lost the series in the fashion Florida lost it they would be calling for suspension of the referees and an internal investigation at the gross injustice.

Point taken.

And rightfully so.

You could appeal...

The game played by the players would have resulted in a 5-1 record in favor of the Panthers this series. Possibly 6-0.

Let's get this out of the way: the Panthers dominated the Islanders when it came to Fenwick %, or Shot Attempt % close. Florida is currently 2nd in the playoffs in that measure.

However, if the Predators lose Game 7 in Anaheim, four of the top 5 teams in that measure this postseason (as of this writing) will have been eliminated, and four of the bottom 5 teams will be moving on. Puck possession tends to be predictive of success, but in a 6-game sample size...

The Islanders outscored the Panthers 15-14 in the series. Five of the six games were decided by one goal, and the other by two, one of which was an empty net goal.

The Panthers outshot the Islanders in three of the six games, and were outscored on the power play 5-2.

We now interrupt these statistics and return you to your regularly-scheduled conspiracy theory.

But the ineptitude of the officials made this a minimum of 7 on 6 against the Panthers that few teams could overcome.

Brace yourselves Islanders fans; the day has finally come. Gary Bettman has rigged a series in the Islanders' favor! Our 23 years of sacrifice have paid off!

The venom on social media towards the officials this series was constant and justified.

Venom on social media is constant, but rarely justified. Ask Rachael Ray (or Rachel Roy now that I think about it)

Most shortsighted fans will call this sour grapes,

I can see that.

which of course it isn't.

Plot twist! I await information or evidence to support your claim.

I had so many objective Islanders fans reach out to me to share their condolences over the Panthers getting robbed it was refreshing. Thanks to those of you that had the awareness to agree Florida was the better team during this series.

The Panthers were the better team in regulation. You're welcome.

There were interesting opinions from Panther fans trying to rationalize why the end result was what it was.

Where can I find one of those?

Many were saying that championship teams overcome adversity, and blaming the refs is not an option.

Injuries are a form of adversity. Sometimes the refs make mistakes. Sometimes you play a series against Sidney Crosby. These things happen, and through the prism of time, we accept the limits of human beings with whistles expected to judge larger armored human beings skating on a sheet of ice.


Blast. I should have seen that coming.

Rationalization* is the first sign of an unsound argument.

*[Ed. he literally used the psychological term for the defense mechanism of making excuses]

I see your point. You should read this when you're done writing it.

There is no arguing how costly the officials were to Florida in this series.

So...this post was pointless?

When some of the the officials' biggest gaffes are with under a minute left, especially in games 5 and 6, causing pivotal games to be incorrectly decided, there is no time to overcome such adversity.

After being tied through 60 minutes, both of these games went to overtime. They were again tied, so Game 5 and Game 6 each went to double overtime. Your concept of time is perplexing.

Remember; rationalization is the first sign of an unsound argument. Also; in the final minute in regulation of an elimination game, consider putting a body on John Tavares.

Let's skip ahead, my head is beginning to hurt.

The Panthers held the lead 171:43 of the series, compared to 45:54 for the Islanders.

The NHL does not have a scoring system similar to NASCAR; you don't get points for being in the lead until the game is over.

Yes Thomas Greiss played remarkably well,

That was nice of you to say.

and my hat is off to him,

Thomas doesn't want your hat.

Wait, there's a comma..I've got a bad feeling about this...

but multiple goals that should have counted were taken away from the Panthers by the officials.

Got me again. Do you care to be specific?

Roberto Luongo was stellar as well, and if he can play like he did this season for two more, the Panthers are in great shape moving forward.

In two years, Roberto Luongo will be 39 years old. What the heck, Jagr will probably still be in the league. BUT HOW WILL THEY STOP TEH REFZ.

The are anyway with all the maturing young talent, but he is key as GM Dale Tallon looks to make sure that position is solidified beyond Luongo's tenure.

I'm surprised we got this far without a grammatical error. Unfortunately, your attempt at an error-free came up just a bit short.

But for now, all Panther Nation can do is wonder how they were involved in one of the worst officiated series in NHL history. It is simply astonishing all the things that went wrong for the Panthers they could not control.

John Tavares can not be controlled.

Many people were saying this was a great learning experience for this young team. At first it's easy to agree with that statement since so many players experienced the playoffs for the first time. But did they really need to learn the "best" officials during the playoffs are a disaster? Let's say the Panthers dominate their first round opponent even more next year. Will that help with officials depriving them of the results they deserve?

For context: this post has a picture of an official with an Islanders logo on his chest. We really could have used that guy against the Penguins.

That is the maddening part of what happened over these last few weeks. The Panthers clearly played good (well) enough to win this series, probably in 5 games.

Show your work.

At VERY WORST they should be preparing for Game 7 tomorrow since the two clear trips on Trocheck and Smith with an empty net should have ended the game last night.

Fun fact: since 1987-88, the average number of penalties called during a playoff game (excluding bench minors) steadily decreases after the 2nd game, resulting in fewer penalties called than an average regular season game.

TL;DR: if you like your game with more penalties, you probably wouldn't have enjoyed Game 7.

Instead social media was buzzing with neverending (hyphen) GIFs of Tavares' winning goal with some sort of caption saying the Isles "won" their series.

Don't mind if I do. Also I don't think all those friendly Islanders you referenced would appreciate your "air quotes." The Islanders won the series.

To be fair, New York didn't win anything.

The New York Rangers didn't win anything. The New York Islanders won a playoff series, I'm fairly sure you'll recall it at some point.

They were handed a series by a set of zebras that should not see the ice again this year if the NHL wants to save themselves any more embarrassment.

Again, not sour grapes. Just facts.

The next meaningful fact posted by the author will be the first.

It is important to the league that the Islanders are successful.


With a high profile (adjective, requires a hyphen) move to Brooklyn, yet finishing 26th in the league in attendance,


BEHIND the Florida Panthers,

Double Burn. At least we have you beat in TV ratings!

they needed a boost. The NHL must be ecstatic.

I once read that rationalization is the first sign of an unsound argument.

The Cats and their fans will lick their wounds and stew over a long summer on what should have been.

Been there. Our condolences, losing a playoff series is tough.

The only hope is the NHL is listening to the reasonable, logical, and valid complaints by fans all across the league that aren't NY fans that were disgusted by the outcome of this series.

I'm sure NY Rangers fans were also disgusted by the outcome of this series.

When the officials are the story the league has failed.

In related news: the NHL is planning to expand to Las Vegas and/or Quebec City.

The NHL has a long way to go before the stench of this one subsides.

The Nashville Predators visit the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday for Game 7. Hope you've got nose plugs.

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