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Let's Talk About the Refereeing


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#1 DirtyD

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:00 AM

Okay gang,

I've been reading a lot of comments about how the Wings truly lost this series through their inability to win faceoffs, their terrible defensive zone turnovers, and their inability to get to the dirty areas to score goals. I agree 100% with this assessment. The Wings were not even near their best for 4 of the 5 games in this series and, as such, their losses COULD simply be chalked up to that.

However, to nullify the refs of any responsibility in the outcome of this series because of the fact that the Wings were not playing as well as they should seems to me to be simply insufficient. In fact, I would say that such a claim does a disservice to the game of hockey in general. The fact of the matter is that the Wings lost all four of their games in this series by one goal, and in three of the four games the refereeing had a direct influence on the end results.

For me, tonight was the most painful example of this. A disgustingly obvious interference penalty on Murray was missed about 20 seconds prior to the eventual game winning goal. We can all argue that it was Rafalski's fault for coughing the puck up behind the net as he seemed to do far too often throughout the year; AND IT WAS. However, that does not excuse the FACT that the faceoff should have been at the other end of the rink and that the Wings should have had a man advantage.

Do I think that the Wings would have scored on that powerplay? Probably not. The powerplay was incredibly weak tonight and that was another reason that we lost. But this game, like the entire series, was decided by inches and, like every other close game in this series, the opportunities that the Sharks capitalized upon were provided to them by the referees. The Wings sloppy play was the killer, but I will am infuriated that the refs gave the Sharks far too much to run on.

Now, at this point I realize that I sound like a sore loser, and I'm sure that there are some on this board who will write me off as just that. By no means am I a conspiracy theorist; I am not deluded enough to think that the league was hellbent on keeping the Wings out of their fourth straight conference finals. I have watched enough hockey this season to realize that the refereeing in this entire league is pathetic. Standards change from game to game (or period to period) and calls are made and missed on the excuse that, "It's such a fast game". Refs are never held accountable for their terrible calls and no improvements are made for the betterment of the NHL experience. This phenomenon is not confined to a single team or conference, but rather serves to degrade the reputation of the league as a whole.

Unfortunately, in this series, the NHL's terrible refereeing was against the Wings far more than it was for them. While I realize that it is simply an unfortunate coincidence, I think that it is reasonable for us to be disappointed/mad. I have known a number of die-hard hockey fans to stop watching games because the refereeing simply reduced the sport to near-WWE levels, and I am now on the verge of doing so myself. I sincerely hope that this is a series that is watched over and over again as a tutorial of how NOT to ref in the playoffs so that a series like this is never duplicated in the future.

PS - I know that there have been a number of awesome, insightful Sharks fans posting on this board throughout the series, and I would really appreciate hearing your input. In the end, the Sharks certainly played well; as much as it pains me to say it, guys like Thornton and Marleau actually carried their weight. I try to be as unbiased as I can in looking at such issues, and I hope that was reflected in this post.

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#2 RedWingAbner

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:03 AM

This was the first best-of-seven I've seen where the losing team won 1, the winning team won 2, and the officials won 2 and donated them to the "winners."

#3 DatsyukianDeke13

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:11 AM

I can't remember the last time I saw a series that was officiated this inconsistent or biased. Just awful. But hey, what can you do about it.
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#4 Yzerman191

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:14 AM

Great post. I wholeheartedly agree. I do not think it was a conscious effort by the referees to impede Detroit's success, nor an effort to help San Jose in any way. However, after watching all five games of the series, their incompetency did just that by sheer coincidence in four of the five games.

The Red Wings were responsible for losing this series. A Stanley Cup-bound team overcomes any obstacle they face and wins the series regardless. In fact, I think even if the officiating was more balanced tonight, the Red Wings still would have lost because the Sharks were simply better. However, calling a spade a spade, the refereeing over the course of this series was very one-sided in favor of the Sharks.

Statements like those made in this thread aren't meant to take away from the Sharks. In order to draw penalties, a team has to keep control of the puck, keep their feet moving, and yes, even sell calls whenever possible. Every team in the league does it. Most any team that wins a 'Cup experiences a little bit of luck en route, and I think the Sharks had a good deal of luck with the officiating, some of the bounces, missed calls, etc. But I will repeat: they were the better team.

#5 Branton87

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:14 AM

This was the first best-of-seven I've seen where the losing team won 1, the winning team won 2, and the officials won 2 and donated them to the "winners."


This.

#6 mjtm77

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:22 AM

It was horrible. again what can you do. This just makes for bad hockey
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#7 rick zombo

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:26 AM

This series just seemed like an episode of the twilight zone.

That's al there is to it, really.
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#8 DirtyD

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:48 AM

This series just seemed like an episode of the twilight zone.

That's al there is to it, really.


I agree. I can't help but feel like this series should not be over yet and that we did not deserve such a quick fate.

s***, consider this stat:

San Jose: 4 wins, 15 goals
Detroit: 1 win, 17 goals

Entirely disregarding the poor refereeing, the fact that we outscored by 2 goals the team who beat us in 5 games is just a tough pill to swallow.

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#9 solnyshko

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:51 AM


s***, consider this stat:

San Jose: 4 wins, 15 goals
Detroit: 1 win, 17 goals


Wow. I hadn't really considered that imbalance. That is actually kind of crazy.

#10 ShanahanMan

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:53 AM

I agree. I can't help but feel like this series should not be over yet and that we did not deserve such a quick fate.

s***, consider this stat:

San Jose: 4 wins, 15 goals
Detroit: 1 win, 17 goals

Entirely disregarding the poor refereeing, the fact that we outscored by 2 goals the team who beat us in 5 games is just a tough pill to swallow.


Those stats are misleading considering the fact in one of those games we beat them by 6.


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#11 DirtyD

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 02:03 AM

Those stats are misleading considering the fact in one of those games we beat them by 6.


Obviously I realize that. But those stats are right on in terms of illustrating the fact that we scored more than they did in the series...:rolleyes:.

In all seriousness though, I just thought that it was interesting considering the fact that most people view any 4-5 game series as "short" and any 6-7 game series as "long". Further, "short" series are generally seen as the result of the domination of one team over another. However, I just wanted to point out that this series, however short, was so strange because it was not the result of San Jose's domination. In fact, the only game in the series which was dominated by one team happened to be the Wings' only victory.

San Jose's victory came through their ability to find a way to win the tight ("anyone's") games. And, going back to the point of the thread, the reffing in the series absolutely played a large role in their ability to edge out the Wings in at least three of those games.

Disclaimer: Again, I think the Sharks played great and proved to be more than a formidable opponent and I think that they were capable of defeating us on a level playing field. I just don't think that such a playing field was ever provided.

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#12 whitewolf406

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 02:12 AM

DirtyD you have collected my thoughts quite nicely.
Last year after the WCF's a good friend, older than even me, hockey player in Mens over 50 league, and lifelong Wings fan told me that he's done watching the NHL. "We should have the best experienced and sharpest officials at any level in the world. I can get fair & constancy from the refs in my rec league and the NHL is closer and closer to the WWF." Almost exactly a year later I'm realizing he's right. The officiating in most of the series so far has been poor/inconstant at best.
It's not a grand conspiracy for or against any one team, but against real hockey fans as a whole. The current s***HEAD in charge cares more about a fan the game might get over the core fan base that keeps the doors open for at least 2 too many teams year in and year out. Anyone who says "and the officials might make mistakes" after game 2,(and thinks the lockout was good for hockey) is not going to address a damn thing that's wrong with the game or league.
He is a business man first and a hockey fan last. "If something's making money it must be working OK" attitude has ruined more than one empire. How many chains of whatever business you want to pick has imploded because it expanded too much or too rapidly? It doesn't matter how good the product is, as long as we have one for them to buy they'll buy it. He as recently as a 2/3 months ago AGAIN brought up expansion. He is hellbent on keeping a team in a market that will NEVER make a profit and his next stroke of genius can only be figuring a way to have the Winter Classic there.
When you have a self-satisfying, delusional madman running your business the officiating issues are just the tip of the iceberg.
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#13 TCbrizz

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 02:21 AM

It sure felt like we would get called for a penalty a minute or two after we would take a lead, so I looked at games 2, 3 and 5 to see the numbers....it works out to an average of two minutes and 3 seconds after each goal we scored to take or extend a lead in those three games. That's not a coincidence if you ask me....that's a pattern. what does it mean? who knows...but it ain't good.



Game 2:
1st Period
06:51 Pavel Datsyuk 1-0 Detroit
08:29 Justin Abdelkader: 2 minutes, interference on goalkeeper
Penalty on Detroit 1:38 after taking lead

2nd Period:
02:00 Nicklas Lidstrom (Brian Rafalski, Pavel Datsyuk) 3-2 Detroit
06:11 Todd Bertuzzi: 2 minutes, interference on goalkeeper
Penalty on Detroit 4:11 after taking lead

3rd Period:
Time Team Penalty Details
01:14 San Jose Douglas Murray: 2 minutes, interference
03:01 Detroit Todd Bertuzzi: 2 minutes, holding
03:42 Detroit Niklas Kronwall: 2 minutes, hooking
05:34 Detroit Dan Cleary: 2 minutes, slashing
16:05 Detroit Valtteri Filppula: 2 minutes, tripping
16:16 San Jose Dany Heatley: 2 minutes, interference on goalkeeper
18:56 Detroit Tomas Holmstrom: 2 minutes, too many men/ice - bench


Game 3:
1st Period:
13:33 Tomas Holmstrom (Johan Franzen, Nicklas Lidstrom) 1-0 Detroit
14:02 Justin Abdelkader: 2 minutes, roughing
Penalty on Detroit 29 seconds after taking lead

2nd Period
01:42 Henrik Zetterberg (Valtteri Filppula, Brian Rafalski) 3-1 Detroit
03:34 Todd Bertuzzi: 2 minutes, hooking
Penalty on Detroit 1:52 after extending lead


Game 5:
02:40 Brian Rafalski (Johan Franzen, Todd Bertuzzi) 1-0 Detroit
04:47 Brad Stuart: 2 minutes, elbowing
Penalty on Detroit 2:07 after taking lead


I'm not going through every game to see missed calls and all that, but the most egregious of the entire series: the hit on Franzen that was a legitimate 5 minute major and should have been roughing/interference at an absolute minimum, led instead to the go-ahead goal on the ensuing face-off at their end due to the rush they got with Franzen out of the play. So it's fair to say that the officiating was responsible for BOTH of their goals tonight when you factor in the nonsense "Elbowing" penalty that provided the first goal - a penalty about a 2 on the 1-10 scale compared to an 8 or 9 on the uncalled shot on Franzen.



I'm disgusted by what I saw in this series. It is either incompetence of monumental proportions, dirty officials who are making money off this, or orders from up high to give the sharks an advantage. There are no other explanations. It was so blatant I felt like I was taking crazy pills while watching it. I will not watch any of the remaining playoffs because of this...I just can't take it. Watching either SJ or Chicago win makes the baby jesus cry, and if Pittsburgh makes it back I will have to hurt someone. it's nothing but lose lose lose lose left....our only hope is Boston or Montreal. that's it. :(

Edited by TCbrizz, 09 May 2010 - 02:27 AM.


#14 under_par_00

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 02:55 AM

I'm disgusted by what I saw in this series. It is either incompetence of monumental proportions, dirty officials who are making money off this, or orders from up high to give the sharks an advantage. There are no other explanations. It was so blatant I felt like I was taking crazy pills while watching it. I will not watch any of the remaining playoffs because of this...I just can't take it. Watching either SJ or Chicago win makes the baby jesus cry, and if Pittsburgh makes it back I will have to hurt someone. it's nothing but lose lose lose lose left....our only hope is Boston or Montreal. that's it. :(



I feel the exact same way. The thing is, I don't know if this is just because I am a die hard Wings fan, and it is hard to see them lose? But s*** really was f***ED UP for this series. Do San Jose fans honestly feel that they deserved to win this series 4-1? As if losing in the finals in game 7 last year, to two goals from MAXIME fing TALBOT wasn't enough, we have to watch the Wings go out like this this year??? GIVE US A BREAK!!!!!

#15 NEpats1028

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 03:07 AM

this is why the NHL will always be a 2nd tier sport...Its because they are the only league i know of that changes their rules in the playoffs. The NHL said they would be watching line changes for too many men, and goalie interference penalties this year, and the number of those penalties has more than doubled since last year. If its such an important issue to look out for in the playoffs, then why not look for it in the regular season??

I think the NHL needs to look at its rulebook and consider some changes for the coming years.

1. Allow players to kick the puck in. i know this could start some controversy but I see nothing wrong with a player whose stick is tied up, kicking a puck in while being defended.

2. Stop protecting the goalies. Make some rule that a goalie is fair game outside his goal crease. Im not saying forwards should be allowed to drill the goalie. There are plenty of times where guys screening the goalie get called for interference because the goalie is so far out and actually into the play.

3. Call more diving penalties. I was watching Don Cherry the other night and he focused of Carcillo from Philly and how he was falling over at the slightest pushes and flung his head back like he'd been high sticked when the opponents stick was nowhere near him. It comprimises the integrety of the game.

....just my 2 cents.

#16 10 Minute Misconduct

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 03:16 AM

San Jose was the better team. Sure the reffing was questionable, but the better team moved on.

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#17 RedFlag85

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 03:39 AM

I always watch Playoff games at my buddy's house, with 7-8 other people. A lot of them aren't too savvy on Hockey, and are always quick to blame the refs for the Wings losses. I always tell them that there's no conspiracy, the reason the Wings lost is because they didn't play 60 minutes, or the other team came to win, etc. etc. But, I swear, this series, I found myself Homering it up and ranting at the refs like everyone else. I know the refereeing in the NHL is bad, really bad, but this series takes the friggen cake.

I really hate how the NHL out right refuses to admit that their refereeing is subject to interpretation of the refs on any given night.

#18 VM1138

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:40 AM

There need to be serious change to the reffing organization. There has to be some real oversight or punishment for embarassing the league. Bad calls is one thing, but consistently being inconsistent and terrible raises some eyebrows.

The reffing definitely controlled this series. Despite the Wings playing sub-par for a lot of it, almost all of the game winning goals came off of terrible calls (5 on 3s) or non-calls. It's hard not to blame reffing when you take away those repeated blatant terrible calls and non-calls and see how different the series would look.]

What I think is impressive is that despite playing on the PK for most of the series the Wings did as well as they did. So yeah, I'm ready to blame the reffing for the overall series, if not every single game. It's frustrating because the Wings could've had this series in the bag despite their sub-par play, which to me indicates San Jose is not the better team.
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#19 Systemfel

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:48 AM

They didn't call it both ways in this series. Bottom line.

#20 high_stick69

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:52 AM

I found myself getting frustrated,....wondering if they were finally going to call something against San Jose. When the knee on knee against Filpula occurred, I thought they may even let that go. I was at game 2, and Thornton was skating all over the ice cheap shotting Dats and hooking down others and the refs just turned a blind eye. Detroit was held to a different standard than the Sharks were. If they called the game against the Sharks they way they called it against Bertuzzi, they would have had many many more penalties. Its just ridiculous. Its entertainment and about ratings. Bettman's wet dream of Pittsburgh being the team is still alive and well. Crosby must've been his alter boy.
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