Erik Johnson Exposes Referee After He Admits To Fixing A Game

James Connelly
December 24, 2023  (11:49)

Photo credit: New York Post

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Erik Johnson has exposed a pair of NHL referees for fixing a game between them and the Rangers.

Johnson Exposes Referees

Last night Buffalo Sabres defenseman Erik Johnson was outraged after being tossed from the game. After fighting Rangers rookie Willie Cuylle, Johnson was given an additional 22 PIMs for something he did earlier in the game.
To add to this, the Rangers got four powerplay opportunities all game while the Sabres only got one.
Johnson was ejected and after the game, he exposed the refs for fixing the game.
"I don't know if there's a gray area with the instigator or what have you, but that's not an instigator. That's two willing combatants that both accept a fight after what I thought was a hit on my partner, a young player in a vulnerable spot, and he needed to answer the bell for that. I thought it was ridiculous. I'd like to say more, even if I get fined. I really don't care. I thought it was BS." - Erik Johnson

Erik Johnson was still upset when I spoke to him after the OT loss.

According to Johnson, the ref told the Sabres' bench that he was given the instigator penalty because they were complaining too much in the first period.

This is giving the Rangers a blatant advantage and is unacceptable from the referees. This is retaliatory towards Johnson for only having him call the referees out for missing a call.

Who Was The Officiating Crew?

The referees for this game were Jake Brenk and Carter Sandlak. The interesting thing about these two pairing up for the game is that the home team typically gets preferential treatment from the two. Among all of the referees in the NHL, Sandlak is first for home team winning percentage and Brenk is fifth for home team winning percentage.
When Sandlak referees a game, the home team wins 79% of the time and when Brenk referees a game, the home team wins 65% of the time. It is clear that the pair has a bias for the home team and during this game, the Rangers were the home team.
All in all, holding a grudge over from the first period and penalizing a player for it in the second period is simply unacceptable. The NHL should launch an investigation into this but likely will not wind up doing so.
As seen on The Buffalo News - Sabres confused, angry after 'ridiculous' penalties stemming from Johnson fight
Erik Johnson Exposes Referee After He Admits To Fixing A Game

Should the NHL launch an investigation into this game?

Yes82890.1 %
No919.9 %
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