The already tense atmosphere before tonight’s game will be only amplified by tonight’s officials

The Panthers fan base spent the offseason on Twitter criticizing or praising the moves made by the Panthers and getting rallied up for the new season. However the one thing that was talked about most and especially dominated Panthers twitter early in the offseason was Trocheck was Tripped. If you are a new NHL fan or haven’t looked at any NHL coverage other than your own team since April 2016 here is what happened:

” It was Game 6 of the 1st round playoff matchup between the Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders. The Islanders had a 3-2 series lead, yet the Panthers had a 1-0 lead in that game and were about to force a game 7. The Islanders had an empty net and Vincent Trocheck took it into the offensive zone with 1:08 left in the 3rd period. However before he could do anything with the puck, Islanders forward Matt Martin tripped him. Smith got tripped too. No call on either trip.  Leddy for the Islanders took it the other way, fired a shot. Luongo was down and had made the save but the puck was loose, John Tavares snuck into the scrum in front of the net and scored. 1-1. The Islanders won it in double overtime when Tavares scored on a wrap-around”

Panthers twitter went nuts over it and was complaining. The overreaction was by Dan Spiegel who amplified things to the point of no return. He accused the NHL of harboring bias against the Cats and accused the Islanders of not deserving to win. This really upset the Islanders fan base who hadn’t won a playoff series since 1993 and their accomplishment was being overshadowed by a ref’s missed call. If the Panthers won game 6, the Isles could still win it in game 7 if there was a game 7. Instead the trip went down in history with Steve Bartman and Gretzky’s high stick.

Now this video by my friend Lucas mainly calmed things down:


Why am I bringing this all back up? It’s a new season.

Today, I went on twitter and clicked on a link to Scouting the Refs and looked at tonight’s officials. One of the officials for tonight’s game will be one of the refs who was there at game 6 in the playoff series. Dan O’Rourke.

This isn’t a hate article against O’Rourke. This is his first game in Sunrise since the trip and it seems likely the Panthers fan base will give him a hard time.

The atmosphere is already tense and this referee assignment has just made things a lot more tense.

I’m curious to see what happens tonight.