Courtesy of Hertz

Drive to the Net: When incompetent refs attack

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Ryan Reaves bowls over the Flames' Mark Giordano. - AP

CALGARY, Alberta -- To be clear and fair, the Penguins lost to the Flames, 2-1 in overtime, Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome because Mike Smith performed out of his mind in the Calgary net and because Mark Giordano blistered a top-shelf bullet to conclude it.

To be clearer and fairer, NHL officiating is awful across the board, no different for any of the league's 31 member teams.

But my goodness, on this particular night, the Penguins got seriously shafted by the performance of referees Steve Kozari and especially inexperienced Kendrick Nicholson, who made it to the league in early 2015 and has only 177 games to his credit.

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