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DirtyD

Let's Talk About the Refereeing

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Amen. But get ready for ten responses calling you a tin foil hat wearer.

esteef

Been there, done that, got the tin foil t-shirt lol

Some folks can't stop staring at the finger pointing to the moon.

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I want to say refs should be shot for 4 out of 5 games this series, but ultimately Sharks were a better team so Wings lost the series in a team effort... Sharks are a good team and should have had more success the past 3 years maybe its their year finally... With Hudler back and Howard more experiences with some minor tweaks and health Wings should look good next year. I think they simply ran out of gas...

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1. The NHL benefits from the Wings winning and going deep. The Wings sell significantly more merch than any other franchise, and they get a cut of it. I don't see any motive for the entire NHL as an organization to be trying to undermine the Wings, and have yet to see a real argument to convince me otherwise. The Maple Leafs' fans do this exact same kind of conspiratorial whining, and while they're not exactly the same caliber as the Wings are consistently, the tone of complaining is pretty much the same.

2. The first goal of game 5, Franzen pulled the stick out of Thornton's hand, effectively removing him from play, and the Wings scored. Malhotra was tripped on his break away. Pavelski was cross-checked in the back while going for a line change because Bert knew the refs weren't looking. In the last 2 minutes, Franzen cross-checked Nichol in the face after the whistle blew. No call. Then, 30 seconds later, there's the Boyle holding call, which could go either way, but seemed to go against the let 'em play hockey that was going on at the tail end of the game. So let's not pretend that the Wings were the clear and unbiased victims of the refs. I know that that was not the spirit in which this thread was started, and I would suggest keeping it that way.

3. I agree that Bert gets more calls than he deserves, but he's earned a rep. He knows this, too. Games should be called individually, based on the rules, to the best of the ref's ability and not based on who is out on the ice. However, the refs don't have slo-mo instant replay or multiple camera angles or review time. This is a fact of the game. As such, there's going to be a bias against certain players and they're going to be watched. The thing is, every team has those guys, and Bert gets watched the same as, say, Clowe, and he took a lot of stupid penalties in this series. That doesn't mean that he "deserves" the holding call he got in game 5, but it does mean he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt. If Bert isn't willing to take that risk for his team, he has to police himself. Others have done it, he could, too.

4. Refs are fallible, and the rules exist as they're called on the ice and not in some absolute sense. I understand that the Wings lost and that was a factor as far as many here are concerned, but consider the alternatives: review every play, double the number of refs on the ice, make every call reviewable, allow games to be rolled back for missed penalties... I'd love to hear suggestions that aren't going to ankle the game. About the only alternative people who complain about the reffing have is "just hire people who aren't idiots." I'm very sure that the refs in the NHL aren't idiots, and that you aren't going to improve the reffing by getting new people in. It's a hard game to call, especially when everyone on the ice is gaming the system as much as they think they can get away with. The only way to change that would require significantly altering the game, which would be much, much worse. The puck is going to deflect unfavorably off of the linesmen, calls are going to be missed, others called wrong, others made up based on what the ref thinks happened rather than what he saw. It sucks, but the alternatives are worse.

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1. The NHL benefits from the Wings winning and going deep. The Wings sell significantly more merch than any other franchise, and they get a cut of it. I don't see any motive for the entire NHL as an organization to be trying to undermine the Wings, and have yet to see a real argument to convince me otherwise. The Maple Leafs' fans do this exact same kind of conspiratorial whining, and while they're not exactly the same caliber as the Wings are consistently, the tone of complaining is pretty much the same.

It's whining because you don't see the forest for the trees? It sounds like instead of thinking about it, you blindly dismissed it as whining. A common misconception.

The Wings are going to sell no matter what. They could lose for 5 straight years like we just did and it wouldn't matter. The league knows they've "got us". Now a team like SJ, that's in a massive market. California is a gigantic dollar sign and from a business perspective, it'd make alot more sense to try and build interest there with a nice "finally not choking" storyline, rather than just flogging us with the same Red Wings team most people either love, or hate.

Now as a disclaimer, this isn't necessarily what I think happened, it's just what would make the most sense business-wise.

And no one is implying we got us free and clear-no one ever does. It's that it so significantly favored them that we'd may as well have. That has to be obvious, don't start arguments over nothing.

And you can't seriously be justifying reputation calls. That's not hockey. You can't tell me how it is.

How is Bert supposed to police himself when he's playing by the rules? Dives aren't his fault. They're the refs fault(s). Seriously, you're trying to imply that it's somehow Bertuzzi's fault because an official can't do his job? Why the excuses for the stripes but not the red? Why is it OK for a professional referee to not do his job? I don't care if it's a fast game. That's such a crutch.

As for the officiating, I thought I covered that but maybe you didn't read it. Not my problem but I'll say it again-it's entirely possible to have more eyes watching the game off the ice and in the even they're needed, it shouldn't take more than the few seconds it'd take to converse with the other officials on the ice. With our technology today, it may be even quicker.

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Haven't really read initial responses as this is the first time I've signed on today but this is a topic that interests me right off the bat.

More often than not, I absolutely cannot stand when fans of a team simply cannot accept that their team lost. Losing is a part of life in sports, it is going to happen. Don't get me wrong, I love watching the Wings and my other teams, rarely miss games, but my sports watching has it's place in life, and that's it. I typically don't get too pissy or glum if my team loses a game to where it ruins my daily life or work, no matter how big/little the game.

So, I cannot stand claims of bias or anti-bias or officiating or other external forces usually in a team losing more often than not. It makes fans sound bitter and whiney and like a bunch of kids.

Now, with that being said, the Sharks were the better team this series, but not that much even though they took just 5 games to win it. So I will give the Sharks their fair credit.

However, this was one of the worst officated series and handful of games, in any sport. Of course I'm a Wings fan so I'd be biased a bit more, but when you have professional analysts chiming in that the officiaing was bad, at least for one game (game 2), you know you got some problems.

I hate when fans get on soapboxes like I described above, but I absolutely also cannot stand officiating incompetency where they play a bigger hand than necessary in determining the outcomes of games. And it happened way too much this series.

I can accept that the Wings lost this series and the Sharks were the better team just enough. The officiating though was much more of a factor in this series and that is a shame. Not trying to sound pissy or making excuses, it was just an unfortunate factor in the series that shouldn't have been.

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Haven't really read initial responses as this is the first time I've signed on today but this is a topic that interests me right off the bat.

More often than not, I absolutely cannot stand when fans of a team simply cannot accept that their team lost. Losing is a part of life in sports, it is going to happen. Don't get me wrong, I love watching the Wings and my other teams, rarely miss games, but my sports watching has it's place in life, and that's it. I typically don't get too pissy or glum if my team loses a game to where it ruins my daily life or work, no matter how big/little the game.

So, I cannot stand claims of bias or anti-bias or officiating or other external forces usually in a team losing more often than not. It makes fans sound bitter and whiney and like a bunch of kids.

Now, with that being said, the Sharks were the better team this series, but not that much even though they took just 5 games to win it. So I will give the Sharks their fair credit.

However, this was one of the worst officated series and handful of games, in any sport. Of course I'm a Wings fan so I'd be biased a bit more, but when you have professional analysts chiming in that the officiaing was bad, at least for one game (game 2), you know you got some problems.

I hate when fans get on soapboxes like I described above, but I absolutely also cannot stand officiating incompetency where they play a bigger hand than necessary in determining the outcomes of games. And it happened way too much this series.

I can accept that the Wings lost this series and the Sharks were the better team just enough. The officiating though was much more of a factor in this series and that is a shame. Not trying to sound pissy or making excuses, it was just an unfortunate factor in the series that shouldn't have been.

You should try being as relaxed about our opinions are you are about the games. Because we might...just might...be justified.

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You should try being as relaxed about our opinions are you are about the games. Because we might...just might...be justified.

:huh:

K...

I wasn't chomping at anybody's opinion in this thread...

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Howard did not help the situation by letting in 2 soft goals in Game 3 which eventually lead them going down in the series 3-0.

Everyone can point fingers, but at this juncture, it is a moot point.

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All penalty calls, and all goals, should be reviewable. It's not hard, it won't take very long. Ref calls a penalty, then the refs/linesman skate over to a little monitor, watch it, boom, done. We all see the replay before the next face-off anyways, why can't the refs just watch it and GET IT RIGHT 100% of the time. Plus this would get ride of the ridiculous non-reviewable goal policy. Every play should be reviewed, at least briefly. While their at it, have no touch icing. The time we save watching a guy skate for 10 seconds, the refs can allocate that time to reviewing calls.

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All penalty calls, and all goals, should be reviewable. It's not hard, it won't take very long. Ref calls a penalty, then the refs/linesman skate over to a little monitor, watch it, boom, done. We all see the replay before the next face-off anyways, why can't the refs just watch it and GET IT RIGHT 100% of the time. Plus this would get ride of the ridiculous non-reviewable goal policy. Every play should be reviewed, at least briefly. While their at it, have no touch icing. The time we save watching a guy skate for 10 seconds, the refs can allocate that time to reviewing calls.

I completely agree about all goals being reviewable, but not all plays. What happens when there's a penalty called, a couple minutes go by while they review it (to do it fairly will take multiple looks, as with reviewing goals), then decide it wasn't actually a penalty? Do they give the puck back to the person who had it and let them go back at it? Going to a face-off seems unfair when one team had possession of the puck.

And how about when the refs miss one? If someone else is reviewing it in the booth or wherever, do they roll the clock back to when the penalty happened even though the play has gone on?

And what about all of those borderline calls? Obviously there are calls that could go either way and there's a case to be made on either side. Do we hold a little court? Do all of the refs get a vote (I'm assuming there is a video review person in your scenario)? Or do they send it to Ottawa?

I don't think there is a perfect system, and of the flawed options I'm okay with the one we have.

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...

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.

Regarding the first bolded portion; it's a tired cliche. Of course, by default, the team that wins the Cup overcomes whatever obstacles they had to face, but that does not mean they could have overcome any obstacle. It just means they were fortunate enough not to face anything they couldn't.

Reverse the calls in game 2. I don't mean make them even, I mean call the game in our favor. Call all the dives on SJ. Miss the penalties on Kronwall and Flip and Cleary. Could the Sharks still have won that game? I doubt it. If Murray and Vlasic (I think) had been given majors and thrown out of the game, could the Sharks have won? Call the Sharks for knocking down Cleary in the crease in OT in game 3 would we have scored? In game one, call Setoguchi for diving, and miss the other call that gave them the 5 on 3. Do the Sharks still win?

Do all that and I think we win 4-1, and the Sharks have a legit complaint about the refs. Wouldn't change anything about how we played or they played. Wouldn't make us any better or them any worse. Things went the Sharks way this series. They weren't better by any significant margin. They weren't more resilient. They just benefitted from the breaks in a pretty evenly played series.

For the second part, something needs to be said for the principle of good sportsmanship. I know diving, embellishing, pleading for calls, etc is prevalent in most sports. But there is something wrong with the mentality that says this is ok. The 'if you're not cheating you're not trying', win at all costs philosophy needs to go. Selling calls and diving should be one of the harshest penalties. Just below blatant recklessness.

Sure, Draper's career would be over. Mule would spend a lot of time in the box until he learned his lesson. But the game would be better for it. The game would be much better if players tried to make plays as hard as they sometimes try to draw calls.

Make diving/embellishing nullify the original penalty (if there was one). Give the PP to the other team. Misconduct to the offending player if there was no original penalty. Keep track of the divers, and suspend repeat offenders. 3 dives by one team in one game; eject the coach, fine the team, and take a goal away from the offending team (or give one to the other team if the offenders don't have any).

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...

4. Refs are fallible, and the rules exist as they're called on the ice and not in some absolute sense. I understand that the Wings lost and that was a factor as far as many here are concerned, but consider the alternatives: review every play, double the number of refs on the ice, make every call reviewable, allow games to be rolled back for missed penalties... I'd love to hear suggestions that aren't going to ankle the game. About the only alternative people who complain about the reffing have is "just hire people who aren't idiots." I'm very sure that the refs in the NHL aren't idiots, and that you aren't going to improve the reffing by getting new people in. It's a hard game to call, especially when everyone on the ice is gaming the system as much as they think they can get away with. The only way to change that would require significantly altering the game, which would be much, much worse. The puck is going to deflect unfavorably off of the linesmen, calls are going to be missed, others called wrong, others made up based on what the ref thinks happened rather than what he saw. It sucks, but the alternatives are worse.

Fallible should not mean 'crap'. Refs should absolutely be held accountable for poor performance. Yes, the game is fast, and players are selling things all the time. But NHL refs should be the top 100 or so in the world at what they do. The refs in the playoffs should be the best of those. 'Suck' is not a standard we should find acceptable. We should demand that the refs do their job better. Demand that they don't make reputation calls, or calls based on what they think must have happened because they couldn't see, or make-up calls because they know they screwed up an earlier one, or calls based on fan reaction. How about not randomly calling hooking when a guy gets tapped on the gloves, but there's obviously no effect on the play. Maybe call cross checking in the crease whenever it happens, and not just when someone falls on a goalie or a team 'deserves' a call.

Rule changes should also be made. Intent to blow = Intent to suck. Distinct kicking motion. Head shots. Diving. How about a rule so you don't call hooking when the 'hookee' pins the 'hooker's' stick with his arm. How about trying to better define interference, and training refs using video examples. Standards for reasonable distance from puck and time elapsed after the puck is gone. Try to get all the refs on the same page, and let the teams know as clear as possible what the standards are. It will always be somewhat subjective, but that doesn't mean we can't improve. I don't believe this is the best we can do.

And why not have some type of review system? Maybe something like the challenge in the NFL. Probably wouldn't be feasible for missed calls, but it would work for bad ones.

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I find all of the trolly Shark fans' comments amusing, as I suspect that they are going to get jobbed in the WCF just as we did. That wasn't about getting the Sharks deeper into the post season. It was about keeping the Wings out. Pittsburgh and Chicago in the SCF is better for the league than Pitt vs. SJ. Enjoy the ride while it lasts, Sharks fans. In about 2 weeks you guys are going to be just as bitchy as we are right now.

Chris

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The whole "overcoming adversity" thing is just laughable. Seriously. I'm assuming we're all adults here and people actually buy that horse s***?

When that (tired) cliche is spouted, it's meant that they overcome in-game adversity, and possibly reasonable off-ice problems. Not officiating. That's just the league admitting their poor officiating is part of the game and that's not sport. And if you can't figure out why, don't reply to me. I don't need the headache.

Edited by zackmorris

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1. The NHL benefits from the Wings winning and going deep. The Wings sell significantly more merch than any other franchise, and they get a cut of it. I don't see any motive for the entire NHL as an organization to be trying to undermine the Wings, and have yet to see a real argument to convince me otherwise. The Maple Leafs' fans do this exact same kind of conspiratorial whining, and while they're not exactly the same caliber as the Wings are consistently, the tone of complaining is pretty much the same.

2. The first goal of game 5, Franzen pulled the stick out of Thornton's hand, effectively removing him from play, and the Wings scored. Malhotra was tripped on his break away. Pavelski was cross-checked in the back while going for a line change because Bert knew the refs weren't looking. In the last 2 minutes, Franzen cross-checked Nichol in the face after the whistle blew. No call. Then, 30 seconds later, there's the Boyle holding call, which could go either way, but seemed to go against the let 'em play hockey that was going on at the tail end of the game. So let's not pretend that the Wings were the clear and unbiased victims of the refs. I know that that was not the spirit in which this thread was started, and I would suggest keeping it that way.

3. I agree that Bert gets more calls than he deserves, but he's earned a rep. He knows this, too. Games should be called individually, based on the rules, to the best of the ref's ability and not based on who is out on the ice. However, the refs don't have slo-mo instant replay or multiple camera angles or review time. This is a fact of the game. As such, there's going to be a bias against certain players and they're going to be watched. The thing is, every team has those guys, and Bert gets watched the same as, say, Clowe, and he took a lot of stupid penalties in this series. That doesn't mean that he "deserves" the holding call he got in game 5, but it does mean he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt. If Bert isn't willing to take that risk for his team, he has to police himself. Others have done it, he could, too.

4. Refs are fallible, and the rules exist as they're called on the ice and not in some absolute sense. I understand that the Wings lost and that was a factor as far as many here are concerned, but consider the alternatives: review every play, double the number of refs on the ice, make every call reviewable, allow games to be rolled back for missed penalties... I'd love to hear suggestions that aren't going to ankle the game. About the only alternative people who complain about the reffing have is "just hire people who aren't idiots." I'm very sure that the refs in the NHL aren't idiots, and that you aren't going to improve the reffing by getting new people in. It's a hard game to call, especially when everyone on the ice is gaming the system as much as they think they can get away with. The only way to change that would require significantly altering the game, which would be much, much worse. The puck is going to deflect unfavorably off of the linesmen, calls are going to be missed, others called wrong, others made up based on what the ref thinks happened rather than what he saw. It sucks, but the alternatives are worse.

Give me a break. The fact that it was your team that benefited from the horrendous officiating in this series makes all of the above really easy for you to say. Were the opposite to have happened, you'd be crying bloody murder.

Oh, and nice job writing up this post after making a totally obnoxious one in the game 2 video thread. Did you not like the fact that the mods deleted that post?

Howard did not help the situation by letting in 2 soft goals in Game 3 which eventually lead them going down in the series 3-0.

Everyone can point fingers, but at this juncture, it is a moot point.

He was also completely brilliant at points and stopped shots that would have evaded most goalies.

Edited by Crymson
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I remember back about 8 years ago when I would get frustrated with refereeing when I would watch hockey. I played hockey and I just didn't understand why, as a goalie, I could see penalties that the ref wouldn't see right in front of them. Last year, I decided to get my USA Hockey certification and start reffing. It was a very good experience for me, and it really opened my eyes to what happens out there on the ice.

Now, a lot of the comments I see are from people who have never reffed hockey before. Heck, I am betting that 95% of you have never reffed any sport before. There are a couple things that people should at least consider before drawing conclusions about a game or a series and how it was reffed.

First, I consider hockey to be one of the hardest sports to referee. The game moves so fast, and in the course of a play, the ref has to break it down in his head. I thought, as a goalie moving into reffing, that I would be better at this. The simple fact of the matter is that I wasn't. I spend a lot of time studying the rules, taping my games to watch it from a fan's perspective, and also talking to coaches and players. There are a lot of fans that talk out of their asses about how the reffing is when they have never reffed a game in their lives. I am a firm believer that people should walk a mile in their shoes before passing judgment. Give reffing a try before you ***** about the reffing. A lot of people don't even want to go down that road because its hard or they are lazy.

Second, refs are human. They do miss calls. They do make mistakes. I never understood why the refs in the NHL get a free pass on all these things. One of the things I pride myself on is being honest with all players and coaches out on the ice. If I made a mistake, I own up to it. The league officials may not expect that, but I expect it from myself. I question Gary Bettmen when he stands behind his refs 100% and insists that mistakes are never made. As a fan of hockey, everyone should just acknowledge the fact that mistakes and missed calls are going to happen in the course of a game.

Third, there is no conspiracy. Refs are consummate professionals. I am a hockey fan as much as I am a Wings fan. I don't see any conspiracy out there. Sure, I see mistakes. I see missed calls in every game, but its easy for an armchair fan to watch a game and see something bad. Especially a fan of a team that sees something against his team. Which is why you hear 20,000 fans boo the refs when they don't get a call. Try attending a hockey game or watching one on TV where you don't care who wins or loses. What would you call in the course of that game? How many penalties total? I bet if you were watching the Wings you would easily call a 3 to 1 margin in favor of the Wings. Now, that would be a conspiracy if you were reffing.

I know that a lot of Wings fans feel slighted about the reffing. Heck, I feel that way. I feel the Wings came out on the bad end of some calls in the game, thats for sure. At the same time though, the Sharks were in fact more disciplined. As Mickey said after the last game, when you are chasing the other team around, you are going to commit more penalties. Well, they spent a lot of the games of this series chasing the sharks around. The sharks deserved to win, and the refs were not swinging it in their direction. The Red Wings were giving them the games by committing timely penalties.

In the end, I listen to what a lot of Wings fans have to say and I just *facepalm*. Here fans are bitching about the reffing and saying that the refs gave the series to the Sharks. Ok, well if that was the case, then their team as it is should be just fine for next season. Nope! They are too old and slow and need to be revamped. So was it the refs fault in the end? Or was it a worth ethic issue? Or was it just the fact that the Sharks out hustled and out played the wings? In the Stanley Cup playoffs, I am a firm believer that the hungrier team always advances. The Sharks were the hungrier team.

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He was also completely brilliant at points and stopped shots that would have evaded most goalies.

Absolutely. His bad goals in game 3 didn't bother him rolling into game 4. He didn't come out shaky in game 5 and gave of us an amazing chance to be right back in the series. Game 3, I guess you could say, Howie let the team down. Game 5, the team let Howie down.

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Nightfall, wonderful post! I don't think people realize how difficult it is to ref a game of high level competition in just about any sport. I myself do not ref, but I know it is very difficult. I think that refs are doing the best they can, but sometimes a couple mistakes end up on the wrong side and it looks like bias. It's sort of the same thing when fans complain about players not giving their all... the players and refs are trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability, but everyone has off days. I'm certain that people who complain about players/refs don't have perfect efficiency at their job every single day, and they aren't dealing with people trying to stop them do their jobs and random bounces of a puck.

That said, I think there can be more improvements to how games are called. I, along with many others, would simply like to have more consistency in the calls. I don't much care if games are called loose or tight, as long as it is consistent. Overall, I think how refs have to interpret calls needs to be more clarified. For example, the whole kicking/propelling a puck. there has got to be a way to allow pucks to go into the net for goals off of skates while still keeping goalies safe from having people kicking their blades at him.

There are a few penalties that get me mad every time. I hate how a slash that breaks a stick, or knocks it out of a player's hands is an instant penalty. Some of these sticks break when someone receives a soft pass! And allowing a player to gain a penalty by dropping his stick is a farce to me. I also don't like the hooking calls where the player being hooked closes his arm on the stick and pins it to him. If anything, I'd like that to be 2 for hooking, 2 for holding and send both to the box.

Overall, I think the game could be improved with more off-ice punishment. I LOVED back before the lockout when they would announce fines for players that dived. Then that went away. I think it should come back. Dives can be hard to catch in the moment, but are easier via review. Announce fines for dives. After 2 or 3 dives, a player gets suspended. Subsequent dives have longer suspensions. Maybe suspend a coach when his team reaches a certain seasonal dive threshold. Embarrass the players, and make them hurt their teams by missing games, and diving will become much less a part of the game.

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That said, I think there can be more improvements to how games are called. I, along with many others, would simply like to have more consistency in the calls. I don't much care if games are called loose or tight, as long as it is consistent. Overall, I think how refs have to interpret calls needs to be more clarified. For example, the whole kicking/propelling a puck. there has got to be a way to allow pucks to go into the net for goals off of skates while still keeping goalies safe from having people kicking their blades at him.

There are a few penalties that get me mad every time. I hate how a slash that breaks a stick, or knocks it out of a player's hands is an instant penalty. Some of these sticks break when someone receives a soft pass! And allowing a player to gain a penalty by dropping his stick is a farce to me. I also don't like the hooking calls where the player being hooked closes his arm on the stick and pins it to him. If anything, I'd like that to be 2 for hooking, 2 for holding and send both to the box.

Overall, I think the game could be improved with more off-ice punishment. I LOVED back before the lockout when they would announce fines for players that dived. Then that went away. I think it should come back. Dives can be hard to catch in the moment, but are easier via review. Announce fines for dives. After 2 or 3 dives, a player gets suspended. Subsequent dives have longer suspensions. Maybe suspend a coach when his team reaches a certain seasonal dive threshold. Embarrass the players, and make them hurt their teams by missing games, and diving will become much less a part of the game.

I feel that consistency is all relative to how the ref is doing. There are some games I watch where its real loose out there. Other games are very tight. Its good to not see pre-lockout hockey thats for sure, but even in loose games you see a little more hooking and interference than you would in a tight game. So how do you make things more consistent? Thats hard because no matter what, refs are going to call different games. When you see a trip happen out there, maybe 6 out of 10 refs would say it was a trip while the other 4 would say he lost an edge.

I agree with you on the slashing calls too. Just because a slash breaks a stick doesn't mean its a penalty. Refs have to be able to make that judgment call on their own. Sure, the broken stick is a bad sign, but I feel that there are some instances (about 15%) where a players stick breaks and it wasn't a slash. Same with dives. I find the diving call to be stupid as hell. If you call player A for a trip and player B for a dive, how the hell did player A trip player B then? A dive is a dive. I don't know why player A should be penalized for player B diving.

The rules are what they are though. The refs have to work around those rules as best as they can. If they go outside the rules, some refs get penalized themselves in fines or "time off" where they don't get any games. Yes, that happens in USA hockey, college hockey, and pro hockey. Refs do get penalized for making mistakes.

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Give me a break. The fact that it was your team that benefited from the horrendous officiating in this series makes all of the above really easy for you to say. Were the opposite to have happened, you'd be crying bloody murder.

The Sharks have been on the other end of that quite a bit, and I don't cry bloody murder over it. I accept it as part of the game. You don't know me, and probably won't take me at my word, but it is what it is. I have seen the Wings win games where the officiating was worse and favored them substantially, but I don't complain about it. I've seen games where the Sharks were on the wrong end of every call and bounce. And at the end of the day, it was a loss.

We disagree that this whole series was handed to the Wings by the refs. I think there were a lot of bad calls, but that it went both ways. You don't.

Oh, and nice job writing up this post after making a totally obnoxious one in the game 2 video thread. Did you not like the fact that the mods deleted that post?

That was a jerky post, and I came back to delete it myself, but the mods had already taken care of it. They did the right thing. However, my other comment in that thread still stands: pick a game and I'll put together a video that makes the Wings look like the worst cheaters ever to play. Not because they are (they're about the same as any other team), but because it's very easy to do. Yer vid is 2 minutes long, and half of it is reaction shots. You don't think I can find 2 minutes of bad hockey in a 2.5 hour game?

Pick your game. I'll get to it after the SCF is over and post it here. The difference is, I won't maintain that it proves anything, other than the fact that I can edit video.

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... lots of very cool things...

Nice post. I've reffed a lot of soccer and a little hockey. Neither one is easy, but hockey is really hard. It's surprising that more doesn't get missed.

Bettman's in the unfortunate position of being Bettman not being able to take sides against the authorities in games because if he says "mistakes happen", then teams are going to expect some recompense for calls that went against them unfairly. The game exists as it is called on the ice. How the ref sees it and the mistakes he makes are as much of a factor as when the puck bounces off of the linesman. It happens. Maybe the compromise for Bettman would be to say that bad calls will happen, but the league won't discuss them, but everyone's going to dislike that as much as anything else he says.

I often watch games with the sound off. You can still tell the narrative that the broadcasters are seeing/telling by which clips get replayed, but for the most part you don't hear the complaints (or lack thereof) about calls on the ice. It changes your perspective to see a game that way.

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Nice post. I've reffed a lot of soccer and a little hockey. Neither one is easy, but hockey is really hard. It's surprising that more doesn't get missed.

Bettman's in the unfortunate position of being Bettman not being able to take sides against the authorities in games because if he says "mistakes happen", then teams are going to expect some recompense for calls that went against them unfairly. The game exists as it is called on the ice. How the ref sees it and the mistakes he makes are as much of a factor as when the puck bounces off of the linesman. It happens. Maybe the compromise for Bettman would be to say that bad calls will happen, but the league won't discuss them, but everyone's going to dislike that as much as anything else he says.

I often watch games with the sound off. You can still tell the narrative that the broadcasters are seeing/telling by which clips get replayed, but for the most part you don't hear the complaints (or lack thereof) about calls on the ice. It changes your perspective to see a game that way.

Saying "mistakes happen" shouldn't bring teams out of the woodwork for payback for calls being made. These people are professionals. They probably remember when they were kids being reffed and refs making mistakes back then. I think everyone knows that refs make mistakes and miss calls. To say that outloud wouldn't be a travesty. To hear Bettman say that their refs are infallible really makes me sick. Ok, I know that your refs are good, but I wouldn't go the extra mile to say they don't make mistakes.

I am still waiting for a hockey rink to do a "sounds of the game" event night. Thats when you show up to watch a game, and they have no music and the ice is mic'ed up. So you hear everything out there on the ice. Yea, I know that would throw in an "explicit language" warning on the tickets, but still, I would love to hear the stuff on the ice more than the announcers. On my NHL Center Ice package I get lucky on occasion and get a feed with no announcers or commercials. It really is a nice feed to watch.

On a side note since we are talking about reffing....

I once had a group of friends over to my place to watch a Chicago/Vancouver game from last seasons playoffs. Some people reffed, some didn't. The goal was to write down every infraction that you would call in a game. At the end of the game, total up the number of penalties for each team. The results were telling. Chicago beat Vancouver 6-3 in the game. 4 of the 6 of us found more penalties for Vancouver than we did Chicago. One friend of mine had 14 penalties for Vancouver as opposed to 2 for Chicago....and he is a Blackhawks fan.

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Regarding the first bolded portion; it's a tired cliche. Of course, by default, the team that wins the Cup overcomes whatever obstacles they had to face, but that does not mean they could have overcome any obstacle. It just means they were fortunate enough not to face anything they couldn't.

Reverse the calls in game 2. I don't mean make them even, I mean call the game in our favor. Call all the dives on SJ. Miss the penalties on Kronwall and Flip and Cleary. Could the Sharks still have won that game? I doubt it. If Murray and Vlasic (I think) had been given majors and thrown out of the game, could the Sharks have won? Call the Sharks for knocking down Cleary in the crease in OT in game 3 would we have scored? In game one, call Setoguchi for diving, and miss the other call that gave them the 5 on 3. Do the Sharks still win?

Do all that and I think we win 4-1, and the Sharks have a legit complaint about the refs. Wouldn't change anything about how we played or they played. Wouldn't make us any better or them any worse. Things went the Sharks way this series. They weren't better by any significant margin. They weren't more resilient. They just benefitted from the breaks in a pretty evenly played series.

For the second part, something needs to be said for the principle of good sportsmanship. I know diving, embellishing, pleading for calls, etc is prevalent in most sports. But there is something wrong with the mentality that says this is ok. The 'if you're not cheating you're not trying', win at all costs philosophy needs to go. Selling calls and diving should be one of the harshest penalties. Just below blatant recklessness.

Sure, Draper's career would be over. Mule would spend a lot of time in the box until he learned his lesson. But the game would be better for it. The game would be much better if players tried to make plays as hard as they sometimes try to draw calls.

Make diving/embellishing nullify the original penalty (if there was one). Give the PP to the other team. Misconduct to the offending player if there was no original penalty. Keep track of the divers, and suspend repeat offenders. 3 dives by one team in one game; eject the coach, fine the team, and take a goal away from the offending team (or give one to the other team if the offenders don't have any).

I agree with all of this.

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I feel that consistency is all relative to how the ref is doing. There are some games I watch where its real loose out there. Other games are very tight. Its good to not see pre-lockout hockey thats for sure, but even in loose games you see a little more hooking and interference than you would in a tight game. So how do you make things more consistent? Thats hard because no matter what, refs are going to call different games. When you see a trip happen out there, maybe 6 out of 10 refs would say it was a trip while the other 4 would say he lost an edge.

Good questions. To me, I'm not all that concerned about 1 consistent standard over the season as I am concerned about consistency within the context of a single game. In other words, I don't mind if Game 2 of the playoffs is called loose, but Game 3 is tight. Too a certain extent of course... can't have too big of a range. If you put reffing on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is a completely loose (no calls) game, and 10 is a completely tight (everything is called) game, I wouldn't mind if all games in the season floated somewhere between a 3 and a 7.

Officials can let the players know what they are looking for early in the game, either verbally or by calling (or not calling) a couple quick penalties. I think refs start seeing problems when they start one way and finish the other, or if one team is getting some tick-tacky calls while the other is hacking away with impunity. I think it's fun to have games during the season that are tightly called, and some loosely. It allows more variability in style of play and makes the game entertaining (again, as long as they stay away from the extremes of calling nothing and calling everything).

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The Sharks have been on the other end of that quite a bit, and I don't cry bloody murder over it. I accept it as part of the game.

I wouldn't. Because it's not part of the game.

Helmets are part of the game. Stick tape. Goalies. Faceoffs. Bodychecks. Coaches. Skates. Scores. Fans. Somewhere in that list, I don't think anyone intended, or intends to, make poor officiating part of the game. Because it's not. If enough people raise their voices, someone will listen. It just takes the proper quantity. But in this defeatist attitude, all we're doing is not questioning authority. And that's, in any shape or form in life, not only foolish but dangerous.

It's just easier to say it's part of the game than it is to point out how it isn't. And being mocked or ridiculed doesn't really give anyone any incentive to speak up, either. Just look at the forums right now-more people than ever finally realize officiating has cost us our season yet again for the second season in a row. And there are still people who just absolutely, stubbornly, refuse to believe or acknowledge any of it. It's textbook denial. We were called on flimsy bulls*** penalties (that SJ got away with as consistently as gravity) lead directly to their GWGs. It doesn't get much more clear than that.

Edited by zackmorris

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