Monday, June 9, 2008

Is The Officiating Getting Worse?

1) It seemed almost every game/series in the past Stanley Cup playoffs was mired in some sort of controversy involving the officiating. Whether its a bad penalty called, one that is missed or a goal that is allowed/disallowed, we can't recall a period of time when there wasn't a game where the officials weren't 'The Story'! Thankfully (for Gary Bettman) this wasn't the case in Game 6 in Pittsburgh where for once the refs/linemen were not involved in the outcome.

2) We understand that officiating the game of hockey that is moving at break neck speed has to be a difficult task, however if these are the best athletes, certainly we should/could have the very best officials too, right? Is this a case of institutional incompetence or is it going according to Gary Bettman's plan, or both? We have even seen a significant number of blown/missed offsides calls. For instance, the game winning OT goal by Pittsburgh-v-Rangers appeared to be significantly offside, yet it was allowed.

3) Also, can someone please explain the rule of when a goal counts/doesn't count/when interference should be called with respect to players bumping/interfering with goalies? It seems each referee has a different take on the rule, and then they change the interpretation game to game or sometimes period to period. We have seen offensive players throw/push defensemen into a goalie and have a goal count, and have player stand NEAR the crease and have a goal waved off, and every other possible scenario take place these past playoffs and we are as befuddled by the actual rule as we were before. If we are, then the players/coaches must have no clue either on how they are allowed to play. We would most definitely could have foreseen another Brett Hull 1999 'goal' to decide the Finals. We'd have loved to see Bettman again embarrassed by such an occurrence once again!

4) Another factor that can't be overlooked is the uneven manner in which calls are made. We were told that there would be zero tolerance for restraining fouls, yet we have seen countless stick infractions missed by BOTH refs. Also, can we dispel with the myth that they call the games the same in the first period as the third/OT? The stats we have uncovered would seem to tell another story. In the playoffs the number of calls in the first half of games averaged to be about 40% MORE than the second half. (eliminating coincidental penalties) If one simply compares the first period to OT's thus far the difference is even more stark!

5) Again, we understand it's not an easy job, officiating an NHL game. Even on a good day it's probably one of the least desirable and most difficult jobs to do, and no one is saying that 100% of the calls are expected to be right 100% of the time. In a high pressure situation like the playoffs the microscope is even bigger, with instant replays and the 18,000 or so paying referees (fans) disputing every call, and there is a subjective nature to the system that can't be overlooked. That said, there should be the expectation that the referees and linesmen will make the right call most of the time. Clearly, thats not that much to expect. There will always be controversial calls in every playoff series; there are always those plays that should have been whistled down that weren't, the moments that become legend for one fanbase or another. Somehow, though, it seems like this year the bad calls, or blatantly missed calls are not only more prevalent but more pivotal in the final outcome of a game or even a series. That shouldn't happen. In order for hockey to maintain its integrity, this SHOULD NOT happen.


Pink is for MEN! said...

"Thus far in the playoffs"?

I thought them was over?

Anyhow, is there a hockey fan, or sports fan for that matter, that thinks the reffing is ever good?

If your team loses it is the refs to blame. If your team wins, it seems it is despite the refs.

It is what it is.

Mr. Spock said...

I have been a frequent visitor here, but this is the first time I have expressed an opinion. Firstly, why does there seem to be a recent infusion of homosexual posters here the past month? I have nothing against those folks, but why express such things on a hockey blog?
As for the topic at hand, I have to agree that it seemed that this year there were more situations that ignited controversy than we would usually expect. I too am uncertain of the crease rule as it relates to interference. I hope that the league clears this issue with a mandate to the officials this summer

Rogo said...

Jiminy crickets te refs were God-awful this year. I mean for Gods sake how can 4 diferent guys miss a clear high stick to Drury?
I didn't see the offsides that you talk about but it doesn't surprise me that they could do that. something needs to be done here. Who is in charge of the refs, is it still that vanhelmond fella?


I don't think this year was much different than any other season. Some bad calls as always, but not worse than I can remember. These guys are human after all. I don't think there is an agenda by the NHL.


1) Spock: Welcome. Feel free to comment here whenever you wish. As to your question. Yes, to a new/infrequent visitor there would seem to be a new inundation to gay posters, etc. However, this is not the case.
2) IP addresses for all the folks in question are the same. They are from our long time nemesis Hockeynutz. He has 2 blogs(that we know of) One strait and one he devotes to his 'alternative life style:
His non gay site is: If you wonder why he is doing this why not write to him?
3) We delete any posts that are off topic, but as long as he discusses hockey/the topic at hand we tolerate his nonsense. As we write frequently, all dissenting opinions are welcomed/allowed as long as we don't get spam or intentionally disruptive posts.
4) Rogo: We agree there were several high stick infractions that somehow were missed, yet any stick placed at waist level was immediately called. We guess if the stick is head high the refs lose interest? ; )
5) Vlad: We respectfully disagree. yes, there are always missed calls, its part of every team sport, but there were just TOO many instances this year where the 'Zebras' were the difference makers.

HockeyNutz said...

Vulcan guy I'm here and I'm queer, get over it!

So what that I have 2 blogs? Jealous Faux?

I better write about hockey or you'll find a excuse to delete this. I think the refs did a fine job this year. I love Kerry Frasier's hair!

FAUXRUMORS 2 said...

1) Wow, Nutz is officially out of the closet, huh? LOL We're away for a few weeks and bang, the spit his the fan.
2) We whole heartedly agree with FR on this one. We didn't see all the games due to being away from a satellite receiver for a couple of weeks(In Africa), but from what we've read and seen, the officials sucked even more than usual!
3) Rogo: Always great to see you commenting here. To answer your question(faux must have missed it) VanHellomond is NOT the head of the refs. Its Stephen Walkum. He was a former(bad) ref who must have known someone to get this gig. Since he took over the officiating has gone from bad to colossally awful!

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