Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!
 
Forums :: Blog World :: Paul Stewart: Officiating Quagmire: Buck Stops at the Top
Author Message
Paul Stewart
Joined: 10.14.2013

Jun 8 @ 7:46 AM ET
Paul Stewart: Officiating Quagmire: Buck Stops at the Top
OrrFour
Joined: 11.04.2013

Jun 8 @ 9:06 AM ET
I think the 'top' has neutered the officials on the ice.
First, they screwed up by sending officials home... big mistake. They just allowed the mob mentality to run the game. Now the current officials have to skate with the threat of being sent home depending on that spilt-second you mention.
Then you have the comments by Berube that questioned their fairness.
Personally, I think they were too self-conscious to make the call.
If this were in the 80's or 90's I cannot imagine you or Fraser or VanHellemond being intimidated by these events. In fact, I think there would have been a backlash from the refs if they tried to send one of you home.
Some positive steps would be to guarantee the playoff schedule, no getting pulled. Secondly, any coach or gm etc who questions the refs in the media gets a bench minor next game.
Queenie_5_hole
New Jersey Devils
Joined: 05.01.2015

Jun 8 @ 11:21 AM ET
I want the blues to win, but they are the most slew-footingist team I’ve ever seen. Boston obviously aren’t choir boys. Just saying.
Shrike
Joined: 05.20.2016

Jun 8 @ 1:16 PM ET
I think the nhl has the worst officials of the four major sports. No easy feat because they all are absolutely awful. It’s time for the nhl to ask the public domain for proposals on how to better officiate nhl games. Have them be submitted and reviewed by the end of the agreement between the nhl and whatever group negotiated for the officials. And use that as leverage to either replace or improve the current officials for the nhl going forward.

Nhl officials should also be required to have a press conference after each game so that they may be questioned on how awfully they called the game. The nhl should also require all grades for officials be available publicly.

Linesman need to be free to make any calls they see or overrule an incorrect call.

The officiating crew should be publicly fined for all missed calls and incorrect calls.

I would rather watch the league with 100 per cent video penalty calls than have to watch this awful group of officials continue to effect the result of game after game.

I would trust the players to call their own penalties more than I trust the current nhl officials to call a game correctly.
Thorny
Location: OH
Joined: 10.15.2011

Jun 8 @ 1:23 PM ET
I guess we can look forward to Boston getting every chance from the refs to win the game tomorrow. Reminds me of the Pens/Preds game 6 a few years ago. Where they blew the whistle early and took a goal away from the Preds, the Preds than got every PP and got away with pretty much whatever they wanted that game. It would have stayed that way till the Preds scored, which shows right there how outdated the refs thinking is.
Doogs
Season Ticket Holder
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Pittsburgh , PA
Joined: 09.16.2005

Jun 8 @ 2:25 PM ET
The entire system is broken. From on ice, to TO’s war room, to the Dept of Player Safety. They need to clean house and start over.

1. Enforce the rules the same in Pre-season through Game 7 of the Finals. From the first second of every game to the last second regardless of the score. It gives the players consistency that will help in the understanding and erase confusion, which will eliminate a ton of crap.

2. Stop correcting mistakes that are seen on replay or the day after by suspending players for lesser infractions. If you disagree that this happens that is fine but it certainly appears to.

3. Call the game for every player regardless to tenure or stardom. From Crosby and Ovechkin to Mr. Whoever his name is, a penalty is a penalty.

4. Stop using social media to push agendas. Use it to push facts. Monday morning quarterbacking has no place in a professional organization.

Solves the problem and might just improve perception that keeps the NHL as a second tier league.

As an additional caveat... call penalties for all the after the whistle crap. Take’em both will stop a ton as well.
carcus
St Louis Blues
Location: #Winnington
Joined: 02.12.2009

Jun 8 @ 5:14 PM ET
Potentially a major penalty?

Not even close Paul. It was a minor penalty for tripping. The refs miss tripping penalties basically every single game.

There were others missed in this same game. Bruins stopped playing. That's on them as the whistle didn't blow and a penalty wasn't called like they wanted.
carcus
St Louis Blues
Location: #Winnington
Joined: 02.12.2009

Jun 8 @ 5:15 PM ET
https://twitter.com/Upde1.../1137433901486497792?s=19

No penalty called. Blues players didn't whine and kept playing.
powerenforcer
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Prospect, IL
Joined: 09.24.2009

Jun 8 @ 5:33 PM ET
A suggestion for a fix might be to get rid of "referees" and "linesmen" and just have 4 "officials" on the ice. All 4 can call penalties, off-sides, goals, and such.
Doogs
Season Ticket Holder
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Pittsburgh , PA
Joined: 09.16.2005

Jun 8 @ 11:40 PM ET
A suggestion for a fix might be to get rid of "referees" and "linesmen" and just have 4 "officials" on the ice. All 4 can call penalties, off-sides, goals, and such.
- powerenforcer


Or just allow the linesmen to chime in/make calls. The positioning of linesmen is important for on and offsides as well as icings and bench penalties.
OrrFour
Joined: 11.04.2013

Jun 9 @ 7:12 AM ET
I think they can call a major penalty if a slew foot results in an injury.

The Bruins DID stop playing, I think they were in shock like the rest of the world.
PghPens668771
Pittsburgh Penguins
Joined: 11.26.2013

Jun 9 @ 12:48 PM ET
I want the blues to win, but they are the most slew-footingist team I’ve ever seen. Boston obviously aren’t choir boys. Just saying.


Yeah, this kind of series where I wish that the NHL could just say "This is a cruel joke - we are not going to actually award the Cup this season". Unfortunately it took the flu epidemic of 1919 and the lockout of 2005 for them to not award it and thus it will happen - either tonight or Wed. They even awarded it every year in WWI and WWII. I dislike both teams a lot but because I dislike the Bruins so much more (they are my third least favorite team, only surpassed by the Flyers and Capitals), I must hold my nose and cheer for the Blues. In addition to slew footing the Blues deliver brutal crosschecks (penalty-worthy) almost constantly.

I think the nhl has the worst officials of the four major sports. No easy feat because they all are absolutely awful. It’s time for the nhl to ask the public domain for proposals on how to better officiate nhl games. Have them be submitted and reviewed by the end of the agreement between the nhl and whatever group negotiated for the officials. And use that as leverage to either replace or improve the current officials for the nhl going forward.


In fairness to the NHL, it is the most difficult sport to officiate due to the speed of the game. I think the NHL officials are, generally speaking, as good as it is humanly possible to be, considering the nature of the game.

Also, MLB umpires do a much worse job when it comes to judging pitches. According to the study cited here they missed 34,394 pitch calls last season:
https://www.sportingnews....ieco5qe561lj1w2cmv3accu5w
Considering that many pitches exceed 90 MPH and some 100 it is understandable that they would miss some. Of course that just begs for automation, to remove the fallible "human element" from that aspect of the game.

But yeah, I agree that the NHL probably needs an "off ice official" who can call penalties, at least on plays that affect the outcome of games. This is not a knock against the on ice officials - just a recognition of their human limitations.
ewfagan
Season Ticket Holder
New Jersey Devils
Location: NJ
Joined: 11.10.2008

Jun 9 @ 9:05 PM ET
Anyone who thinks they are more capable than either NHL ref& linesman’s (or MLB umpires is seriously mistaken). Humans are not perfect. Life is not fair. But I am awed by the way refs are able to skate, see the action and make all the calls they do while not interfering (most of the time) with play. And they skate every shift of the game. People should give them credit for being the great athletes they are.

As for the times officials make a bad call. The fallibility of the officials is what makes the games more interesting. When a call is missed, the officials don’t miss it maliciously. Just like in real life, it’s a tough break. Accept it and move on.

Video review should have limits. If the play is so close it takes two minutes of review to determine an outcome, call it too close to call and let the call on the ice stand. If a player is off sides so slightly it takes more than 30 seconds of rolling the tape back and forth to decide, the infraction is too slight to matter. Even if they were significantly offside, if a goal is not scored in the ten seconds afterwards, the defenders have no excuse for letting the goal in.

I think the nay sayers should really think not about how awful the NHL officials are but should marvel at their skill and athleticism. No other sport’s officials are as intensely involved in the flow of play, keep out of the way and get the calls right so often. So I agree with PghPens668771 when he says they are about as good as it gets.
richc111
Buffalo Sabres
Location: NY
Joined: 02.13.2016

Jun 10 @ 9:45 AM ET
but when things are done well it is because of the ref's i guess huh
gforce
Boston Bruins
Location: People's Republic
Joined: 11.18.2007

Jun 10 @ 10:43 AM ET
Wow, an official missing huge calls in the playoffs?? Unheard of. Never happened in the good ol days.
MrBeanTown
Boston Bruins
Location: Garth blogs make me regret my literacy, NF
Joined: 01.31.2012

Jun 10 @ 1:00 PM ET
I can't believe you actually compared this play with the Bozak play
Taynos
St Louis Blues
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Joined: 04.04.2013

Jun 10 @ 10:22 PM ET
I want the blues to win, but they are the most slew-footingist team I’ve ever seen. Boston obviously aren’t choir boys. Just saying.
- Queenie_5_hole


Do you know what a slew foot is?
FoxMulder
Nashville Predators
Location: MURFREESBORO, TN
Joined: 02.26.2018

Jun 11 @ 9:49 AM ET
I'm not buying your argument. Yes, there are rules that need to be changed, but most of the non-calls that have mattered, the hand pass and now the trip, they're clear cut. Nothing controversial about those, the refs blew it.

Rather than blaming the rules, train the refs.
JimboCoppertone
Florida Panthers
Joined: 01.22.2016

Friday @ 1:36 PM ET
The best ref jobs are when you don't notice the refs.

Unfortunately, they're a major story throughout the playoffs. So, that's obviously a problem.

I think it's a major issue that the playoffs seem to have a different rule book than the regular season, and only "egregious" penalties are called or the dumb ones like delay of game.

You say the fans are paying to see the players play, etc. but I disagree on that. I see tons more hooking, holding, and tripping which is designed to reduce the impact of talent and amp up the impact of the more physical play. And way more non-calls than during the regular season.

NHL refereeing needs to get fixed. It's embarrassing.
gergeswillems
Detroit Red Wings
Location: Malkin wants to be The Man, ON
Joined: 02.01.2016

Friday @ 2:22 PM ET
I'm not buying your argument. Yes, there are rules that need to be changed, but most of the non-calls that have mattered, the hand pass and now the trip, they're clear cut. Nothing controversial about those, the refs blew it.

Rather than blaming the rules, train the refs.

- FoxMulder

Problem is there's not enough good refs to go around. Paul talks all the time about there being a shortage of refs at the grass roots level and every level for that matter. We're seeing the best refs in the NHL. Where are we magically going to find these "better" refs?

They don't exist. It's pie in the sky. Now I certainly agree that the refs need to be held accountable for their errors. The refs missing calls shouldn't be the story of the playoffs but it is.

The NHL has to be accountable for what they expect of the refs. One day they're telling them this and that. The next they're telling them the other.

For as long as I've been watching hockey it's always been Hudson Bay rules in the playoffs. I like it actually as long as it's called the same for both teams.

Anyone who's ever played the game knows you can't call everything by the book or else both teams would have 20 power plays. It'll never happen. Again pie in the sky. So how do things improve? I don't know. The league and the refs are in a tough spot right now.

I think a healthy discussion between current, former and aspiring refs is the way to go. You want guys like Paul giving their 2 cents because he's lived it and his experience is invaluable. I'm not saying him or his colleagues are right about everything but I will say they're right about most things when it comes to refereeing.

Is the 2 referee system working? If it isn't then get rid of it. Go back to 1. I don't know. I just think the league is too set in its own ways. I believe the refs morale is way down. Anyone working an office job knows what I mean when it seems no matter what you do it's never right.

The refs can't seem to win no matter what they do. I feel bad for them when it happens because I know they're getting blamed or used as scapegoats for a team losing. As a fan I hate seeing calls blown or teams winning playoff games because they were screwed somehow. The refs do need to be held accountable but so does the NHL.

There's a happy medium in there somewhere but both parties need to get over their own stubbornness in order to improve things.