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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
Well, once again, I have drunk enough tequila to write a blog complaining about the NHL's inability to locate competent on ice officials to run it's games.

This past week, two game deciding goals were scored on plays that should have been blown dead by one of the four on-ice officials.

The first was San Jose vs Detroit. The Sharks scored a goal that clearly hit the safety net, bounced back into play, and was popped into the net by Devin Setoguchi.

Then, last night, the Sabres scored a goal on a four on four, where they had five men on the ice. Derek Roy jumped early, went in on a breakway, and scored on Marty Biron.

NHL supervisor of officials, Stephen Walkom told TSN, "In that play last night, nobody said anything about too many men. Even if you could roll back the clock for when you have those situations, you're still not going to get to the absolute correct call."

The problem is, Versus showed on a replay that the Sabres had an extra skater on the ice for 9 full seconds.

Both cases are inexcusable.

However, a larger issue remains. Game to game...Hell, shift to shift consistency. The NHL has two refs calling each game. Far too often one ref is calling everything under the sun, while the other doesn't raise his arm unless his armpit is itchy.

Two referees are supposed to improve the quality of the the game's officiation and make sure that penalties and such do not get missed. The problem is, the NHL does not employ enough good officials to have two good refs working each and every NHL game.

It's not just younger, less experienced refs. It's veterans like Dave Jackson and Mick McGeough. The NHL needs to do a far better job of grading it's on-ice officials and removing those that blow too many calls, act like arrogant clowns and simply don't understand the importance of proper positioning.

If that means a return to one referee, so be it. The NHL had one ref on the ice for 80+ years. It worked pretty well for most of that time.
Filed Under:   Jsaq   Dave Jackson   Refs   McGeough   Walkom  
March 5, 2008 8:19 PM ET | Delete
yeah that was kinda wild that they had an extra guy buy so much. I hate when dave Jackson refs flyers games. Do you really think making refs more pissed at the Flyers helps though....
March 5, 2008 8:19 PM ET | Delete
Walkom's response was actually worse than the blown calls. At least say the right thing. Pretend that you care.
March 5, 2008 8:21 PM ET | Delete
Good stuff.I found it odd that one of the refs in tonight's game did a game last night but has a different partner tonight.Wouldn't it make more sense in a sport like this to keep "teams" together.I'm sure it's a lot like playing on a consistent line where you learn the other guys' tendencies and the best place to be in certain situations.Is there anything this league can get right?
March 5, 2008 8:28 PM ET | Delete
I also have to say that I didn't write this because the Flyers got the short end of the stick last night. I started this after the Detroit-San Jose game and was going to abandon it-then last night happened. I still blame the Flyers for that loss far more than the refs.
March 5, 2008 8:31 PM ET | Delete
Good teams don't collapse after something like that happens.
March 5, 2008 8:33 PM ET | Delete
don't blame games on the refs, they are human.
March 5, 2008 8:44 PM ET | Delete
shb5007: read my above comment. I don't blame the refs for losing games. I blame the refs for making the games less fluid than they should be. Refs need to have a feel for the games they are calling. Nothing is more infuriating to be able to do something in period one and have it called in period two.
March 5, 2008 11:20 PM ET | Delete
You're exactly right... but I think some of it stems from the two ref system as the two guys aren't always exactly on the same page and one guy will call something that the other won't. I think the NHL has good officials altogether and obviously a step up from the NBA, but this year has been particularly bad...
March 6, 2008 6:22 AM ET | Delete
I've been complaining about the return of obstruction for a while now so it was very refreshing to hear Paul Kelly say the officials need to start calling the clutching and grabbing again. Of course who knows if they will
March 6, 2008 6:49 AM ET | Delete
I've been on and off this subject all year. There is nothing worse than the constant parade of power plays we saw in the first half of the season. It made a lot of those games completely unwatchable. However, if the officials are consistent, the players will eventually adjust. You are absolutely correct in that there is zero consistency and this needs to stop before it starts to turn fans away and a team is put out of the playoffs due to the inconsistency. Mark my words. It will happen.
March 6, 2008 7:54 AM ET | Delete
i wonder how they picked who DIDNT get the 1 on that goal. or did they give all 5 players the 1 ?
March 6, 2008 7:57 AM ET | Delete
that should read PLUS 1 . i guess they dont let you put in plus signs
March 6, 2008 10:39 AM ET | Delete
I guess Connolly didn't get the plus even tho he was nowhere near the bench when Roy picked up the puck5 3 1:06 EV BUF 9 D.ROY(26) 61 M.AFINOGENOV(13) 5 T.LYDMAN(22) Buffalo on the ice - 5, 9, 30, 44, 61 Flyers on the ice - 5, 9, 17, 43, 44
March 6, 2008 10:43 AM ET | Delete
How about when 4 players are figthing on the ice and a player pulls the puck out of the scrum and heads down ice to score a goal? Happened in Philly vs the Habs and in the Detroit - Blo game last week. Brutal.
March 6, 2008 12:34 PM ET | Delete
I can't remember the last time I watched a game and the refs got even 50% of the calls right. I don't understand how with there being one official for every three players on the ice, they manage to screw up so often. They also seem to manage to be in the way of skaters and pucks on a regular basis too.
March 6, 2008 1:21 PM ET | Delete
The no whistle during the ATL/CAR game last night was laughable. Leightonen tried to freeze the puck and apparantly the refs kept telling him that if he did not play the puck it would be a penalty since his own defensemen passed it to him. Does anyone have any insight on this?
March 6, 2008 2:06 PM ET | Delete
The officials this year have been infuriating. Like your headline says, the problem here isn't the rules of the game, it's the consistency with which they are called. Hooks, holds, and interference are being called sporadically at best, and time and again (as in the two goals described above) the officials seem to be little more than spectators. They seem to become mesmerized by the game, missing blatant infractions for 5-7 minutes at a time, only to snap out of their daze in time to call an incredibly marginal penalty at a crucial time in the game.Is it too much to ask for the refs to set their standard early in a game (in accordance with the rules) and to call that same standard for the entire game?I understand that as humans, the refs will occasionally miss something. But that's why they have the two officials now. It just seems like too often, the second official is either too far away to see a call, or too scared to make it.And as a final point in this rant.... let's start calling dives again. I don't want my beloved game to turn into the farce that is professional soccer.
March 6, 2008 4:25 PM ET | Delete
The goalie can't freeze the puck if it is passd to him by his teammate. I learned this the other night watching a Flyers game when the refs told Biron the same thing.
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