Why can they not stay out of the game?
The Flyers have played three entertaining games this past week. The first game was a great matchup between two red hot teams, Montreal vs. Philadelphia. So guess what happens during a 1-0 game in the second period, the zebras show up and call 19 penalties in the last 2 periods to ruin all the flow of a great game. Next Philly played Tampa Bay and something crazy happened. All of a sudden we were watching hockey from decades ago. Goals were raining in from all over. During the first period the two teams combined for nine goals and there were only 3 penalties called. In the second period the two teams combined for five more goals and there were only 3 penalties called. Then during a tie game going into the third period the Lightning scored the only goal, but the zebras decided to make a mark on this game and called 7 penalties (most were awful calls). Finally the Caps and Flyers squared off in a great game. After 2 periods the score was 2-1 and the flow to the game was great. Both teams were playing well. Then the zebras showed up and called 6 penalties in the third period to again kill the flow to the game.
So my question is this, is it possible for the referees to officiate the game and not insert themselves into the game? Not only are they making calls that were let go earlier in the game, they are making really bad calls too! Against Tampa with a 1 goal lead, they called a penalty versus Tampa for interference. The call was made as Kimo drove to the net and skated basically into the crease and goal. What? Against Montreal as JVR tried to get to the crease he was clearly tripped by a defender into the goaltender. So what was the call? Goalie interference on JVR of course, what else would they call? Again during the 2nd period Powe destroyed a defenseman on a clean check. Shoulder to shoulder clean as a whistle hockey check. Now as the player hit the wall, his helmet came off and he hit his head on the ice. So what is the call? Elbowing on Powe of course. During the 1st period against Washington, there is a multiplayer scrum in front of the net and the call, 2 minutes to 1 Flyers of course. And another big call occurred in the OT session. As Backstrom crossed in the zone and dropped a pass off, he collided with Timonen, and they called Backstrom for interference.
The NHL needs to do something to make these games better officiated and I have a suggestion. Create a communication system between the 4 officials on the ice and let these critical calls be talked about between them before the call is made. Because after all is said and done, the calls need to be right. I also think that an official that is stationed off the rink and watching the game from a distance, again with communication link to the officials on ice. A little distance would stop the calls from reacting to the players screaming on the ice. Also the coach should be allowed to challenge calls just like they can in the NFL. If a call is made they should be able to question 2 calls during the game for a video review done in Toronto. Additionally, a non-call should be able to be questioned during the flow of the game. If they question a non-call during the action, they run the risk of a 2 minute delay of game call if they are wrong. The coaches and players have to make the officials responsible for their calls on the ice.
Good Night and Good Hockey!
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