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DirtyD

Let's Talk About the Refereeing

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Unfortunately, it was the right call.

I find this difficult to agree with, given that the video showed absolutely no evidence of a hook.

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Unfortunately, it was the right call.

as a single, isolated incident, sure it could be called hooking. Given what had been let go in that game, particularly interfering with Z minutes earlier which was much more egregious, it shouldn't have been called. There was no consistency in the reffing tonight.

bdavis likes this

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Unfortunately, it was the right call.

That's about as weak a "hook" I've ever seen. You'd be lucky to have a powerplay on that call in the 1st period in a competent NHL. You never call that in the final minute of a tied game.

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That's about as weak a "hook" I've ever seen. You'd be lucky to have a powerplay on that call in the 1st period in a competent NHL. You never call that in the final minute of a tied game.

Yeah, especially after that blatant no-call where Zetts was clearly interfered with. In my opinion, if they are going to call that hooking penalty, they should've also called the interference too. But oh well...

Edited by bd2988

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I only saw a replay of the game at TSN, but the no-call on Homer's solo and "hook" on Zetterberg looked bad.

this was a penalty shot, and the "hook" was so bloody weak, you'd think it was Bettman's beloved Penguins we were playing against...

no idea what else happened in the game, just those two decisions look particulary bad

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It's been extremely unnerving to say the least how f***ed up the reffing has been, not just in Red Wing games, but league-wide.

OTOH, since I watch more Red Wing games than the rest of the league, I get to see lovely standards of goalie interference go entirely and unfairly against the Wings over and over again.

The attitude displayed at refusing to call interference when done to Red Wing goalies, and the ever-ready ref to put his hand up if Holmstrom breathe on a goalie, remind me eerily of how bad calls and targeted calls on specific players while purposely ignoring others marred the NBA during their ref scandal period. Given how quickly players, coaches, etc., get punished for bitching about reffing, this certainly aids in the notion of such a possible scenario festering in this league.

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Im not saying it wasnt a weak call, but it was the right call, even Zetterberg said he agreed with the call.

In comparison to the clear as day interference on Zetterberg earlier in the period that prevented a 2-on-1 break that wasn't called, there's reason for Wings fans to be bitter. If I were making a video to show an example of what constitutes an interference call in the the NHL, that's the play I'd use.

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In comparison to the clear as day interference on Zetterberg earlier in the period that prevented a 2-on-1 break that wasn't called, there's reason for Wings fans to be bitter. If I were making a video to show an example of what constitutes an interference call in the the NHL, that's the play I'd use.

Zetterberg was just being politically correct. I'm sure Emma had to listen to him ***** about it when he got home.

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I have been a USA hockey referee for a few years now. Back when I first got my start, I can tell you that it was not as easy as I thought. I really enjoy it which is why I continue to do it. Perception is everything, and you won't catch everything that happens in the course of a game. Some things you do call will be totally wrong. Even the best referees in the world don't get every call right.

All these things being said, I have also found in my travels that the team that wins doesn't complain about the reffing as much as the team that loses. Sure, they both complain, but the one that gets the short end of the stick always complains. This is never going to change.

There are many calls the Wings have gotten where nothing has happened. All wings fans praise and love these calls. Others go against the Wings for nothing, and the fans ***** about the reffing and how its a conspiracy. So, let me get this straight. If a call goes for the Wings where the Wings didn't get tripped or just fall on accident, its ok. If a call goes against the Wings where someone fell and the Wings weren't involved, its reffing failure?

I don't subscribe to reffing conspiracy theories. There are going to be missed calls in the progression of the game. There are going to be calls that shouldn't be called in the progression of the game. Human beings are going to perceive things differently. Now that you have television in the mix where you can slow down and really analyze the play, every call can be questioned.

I believe the NHL has the best professional hockey refs. At the same time though, they perform like any other ref would perform. When the game is played at that high of a level, mistakes are going to happen. If the NHL was hell bent on fixing those mistakes, they would change the reffing system. For instance, one of the things they tried at the combine this year was one ref on the ice while the other ref is standing on a platform overlooking the glass. Both refs can call penalties. What they found was that the ref up high caught more legit penalties than the ref on the ice. I am all for a system like this to be honest with you, but the hockey purists would not be happy.

In closing, there are a couple things I want to point out....

1. I firmly believe before you get upset with the refs, you should put the stripes on and ref. It really opens your eyes to the world of refereeing and you will see, even at the rec league level, that it isn't as easy as you thought it would be. Even you will make mistakes, even after years of reffing.

2. I also firmly believe that the best team always wins in the end. The refs didn't screw the Wings out of the game last night. The Wings defense went to sleep on the two goals that Chicago scored in the game. The Wings were lucky to get to OT last night thanks to the bank shot off of the defenseman's skate.

3. As for the playoffs, I also believe that the best team wins a 7 game series. The refs may make a bad call which results in one team winning a game, but things always seem to work out. A team down 2-0 in a series will turn it on to make it a series if they want it bad enough. The refs don't decide 7 game series, the players do.

That is all....

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That's about as weak a "hook" I've ever seen. You'd be lucky to have a powerplay on that call in the 1st period in a competent NHL. You never call that in the final minute of a tied game.

time of the game does not mean you do or do not call it. a hook is a hook at the 19:00 mark like it is at the 1:00 mark....

I have been a USA hockey referee for a few years now. Back when I first got my start, I can tell you that it was not as easy as I thought. I really enjoy it which is why I continue to do it. Perception is everything, and you won't catch everything that happens in the course of a game. Some things you do call will be totally wrong. Even the best referees in the world don't get every call right.

All these things being said, I have also found in my travels that the team that wins doesn't complain about the reffing as much as the team that loses. Sure, they both complain, but the one that gets the short end of the stick always complains. This is never going to change.

There are many calls the Wings have gotten where nothing has happened. All wings fans praise and love these calls. Others go against the Wings for nothing, and the fans ***** about the reffing and how its a conspiracy. So, let me get this straight. If a call goes for the Wings where the Wings didn't get tripped or just fall on accident, its ok. If a call goes against the Wings where someone fell and the Wings weren't involved, its reffing failure?

I don't subscribe to reffing conspiracy theories. There are going to be missed calls in the progression of the game. There are going to be calls that shouldn't be called in the progression of the game. Human beings are going to perceive things differently. Now that you have television in the mix where you can slow down and really analyze the play, every call can be questioned.

I believe the NHL has the best professional hockey refs. At the same time though, they perform like any other ref would perform. When the game is played at that high of a level, mistakes are going to happen. If the NHL was hell bent on fixing those mistakes, they would change the reffing system. For instance, one of the things they tried at the combine this year was one ref on the ice while the other ref is standing on a platform overlooking the glass. Both refs can call penalties. What they found was that the ref up high caught more legit penalties than the ref on the ice. I am all for a system like this to be honest with you, but the hockey purists would not be happy.

In closing, there are a couple things I want to point out....

1. I firmly believe before you get upset with the refs, you should put the stripes on and ref. It really opens your eyes to the world of refereeing and you will see, even at the rec league level, that it isn't as easy as you thought it would be. Even you will make mistakes, even after years of reffing.

2. I also firmly believe that the best team always wins in the end. The refs didn't screw the Wings out of the game last night. The Wings defense went to sleep on the two goals that Chicago scored in the game. The Wings were lucky to get to OT last night thanks to the bank shot off of the defenseman's skate.

3. As for the playoffs, I also believe that the best team wins a 7 game series. The refs may make a bad call which results in one team winning a game, but things always seem to work out. A team down 2-0 in a series will turn it on to make it a series if they want it bad enough. The refs don't decide 7 game series, the players do.

That is all....

Awesome post from a ref...thanks. :thumbup:

Edited by Hockeytown_Ryan

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I have watched that Zetterberg play over and over, zero hook. None. Playing him close, preventing him from getting a clean run at the goaltender with under 15 seconds left? Yes. But at no point was there what the league describes as a hook. At no point was there any obstruction beyond the rules of the game. In fact, the more I see it the more of a "defensive gem" it was (not to be confused with the "defensive gem" that Versus initially called the trip on the Holmstrom breakaway).

The minutes prior with the Wings in the offensive zone pressuring there are several free-hand-grabs let go, which is fine if that's the way you're going to call it, there was even a "funny" sequence in which my girlfriend asked "isn't that a penalty" and I was foolish enough to reply "in the first period, for sure, but they've probably swallowed the whistle in the last minutes and let them play"...... so much for that.

Inconsistency is disgusting. I don't know what constitutes a good, legal play in this league anymore, it changes not game to game or even period to period, but minute to minute. And as much as I HATE conspiracy talk or favoritism as it tends to have the look of excuse making, there is something seriously off since the lockout as far as "flavor of the week" teams (Hawks, Penguins) getting the benefit of suspect calls. I don't know if anyone could honestly say that the NHL has no agenda to ensure that another Cup champion doesn't miss the playoffs the year after.

time of the game does not mean you do or do not call it. a hook is a hook at the 19:00 mark like it is at the 1:00 mark....

Unfortunately, that's exactly the problem. A hook isn't a hook at the 19:00 mark like it is at the 1:00. The definition unfortunately seems to change between the 19:00 mark and the the 19:15 mark. And last night it seemed to change between sweater color / playoff standing. Either way you slice it, that "hook" wasn't a hook at all. Granted, the refs see everything at high-speed, bad angles, blah blah... but there is nothing that said that play should have been called when the countless others were deemed legal.

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I have watched that Zetterberg play over and over, zero hook. None.

You have the benefit of slow motion and instant replay. If you really want to put yourself in a position of being a ref, follow these situations.

You are on the ice and see something happen. You have an instant to make a call or not make one. You have no benefit from instant replay. What do you do? Its all about perception. Odds are, if anyone is put in that situation, there are going to be good calls and bad calls. The Wings have benefitted and gotten screwed a couple times this season from both sides.

As a ref, there are sometimes I wish I had the ability to slow time down and rewind plays in my head. Then I would be the best ref in the game. :D

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If your stick is parallel to the ice and you put it into a guy's midsection you are going to the box 9 times out of 10. I saw that play live and knew right away it was going to be called before I even saw the ref. It sucks but we have benefitted from that very same "hooking" call. Also take into account the positioning of the ref who made the call. He was in front of the play and only saw Z's stick in Kane's midsection with the stick parallel to the ice. Had he been behind the play the call might be different.

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I have been a USA hockey referee for a few years now. Back when I first got my start, I can tell you that it was not as easy as I thought. I really enjoy it which is why I continue to do it. Perception is everything, and you won't catch everything that happens in the course of a game. Some things you do call will be totally wrong. Even the best referees in the world don't get every call right.

All these things being said, I have also found in my travels that the team that wins doesn't complain about the reffing as much as the team that loses. Sure, they both complain, but the one that gets the short end of the stick always complains. This is never going to change.

There are many calls the Wings have gotten where nothing has happened. All wings fans praise and love these calls. Others go against the Wings for nothing, and the fans ***** about the reffing and how its a conspiracy. So, let me get this straight. If a call goes for the Wings where the Wings didn't get tripped or just fall on accident, its ok. If a call goes against the Wings where someone fell and the Wings weren't involved, its reffing failure?

I don't subscribe to reffing conspiracy theories. There are going to be missed calls in the progression of the game. There are going to be calls that shouldn't be called in the progression of the game. Human beings are going to perceive things differently. Now that you have television in the mix where you can slow down and really analyze the play, every call can be questioned.

I believe the NHL has the best professional hockey refs. At the same time though, they perform like any other ref would perform. When the game is played at that high of a level, mistakes are going to happen. If the NHL was hell bent on fixing those mistakes, they would change the reffing system. For instance, one of the things they tried at the combine this year was one ref on the ice while the other ref is standing on a platform overlooking the glass. Both refs can call penalties. What they found was that the ref up high caught more legit penalties than the ref on the ice. I am all for a system like this to be honest with you, but the hockey purists would not be happy.

In closing, there are a couple things I want to point out....

1. I firmly believe before you get upset with the refs, you should put the stripes on and ref. It really opens your eyes to the world of refereeing and you will see, even at the rec league level, that it isn't as easy as you thought it would be. Even you will make mistakes, even after years of reffing.

2. I also firmly believe that the best team always wins in the end. The refs didn't screw the Wings out of the game last night. The Wings defense went to sleep on the two goals that Chicago scored in the game. The Wings were lucky to get to OT last night thanks to the bank shot off of the defenseman's skate.

3. As for the playoffs, I also believe that the best team wins a 7 game series. The refs may make a bad call which results in one team winning a game, but things always seem to work out. A team down 2-0 in a series will turn it on to make it a series if they want it bad enough. The refs don't decide 7 game series, the players do.

That is all....

Look, I'm sure being a ref is hard and all, but being that this is the NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE, I don't see why it is unreasonable to demand more perfection at the highest level of hockey in the world. If this is as good as the reffing can possibly get, then that would be very pathetic indeed.

No one is denying that it is a difficult job and that mistakes can happen, but what drives us crazy is how absolutely fixable so many facets of the officiating are.

So many simple tweaks and changes could vastly improve the reffing and subsequent complaining about the reffing. The replay system, overall consistency, subjectivity of the rules, interpretation of the rules, players understanding of the rules, intent calls, headshots, etc. The reffing is different in every single game, for every single team, for every single player, and it simply makes no sense.

That the league has an anti-honesty policy in regards to coaches and players voicing their opinions about the officiating speaks volumes to me.

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Look, I'm sure being a ref is hard and all, but being that this is the NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE, I don't see why it is unreasonable to demand more perfection consistency + common sense at the highest level of hockey in the world. If this is as good as the reffing can possibly get, then that would be very pathetic indeed.

[...]

That the league has an anti-honesty policy in regards to coaches and players voicing their opinions about the officiating speaks volumes to me.

There is something a bit fascist about not being able to speak the truth if someone up the totem pole doesn't like it. They treat "that was an awful call" like its "sloppy seconds". Doesn't the league do more harm than good to their image in these instances?

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No one is denying that it is a difficult job and that mistakes can happen, but what drives us crazy is how absolutely fixable so many facets of the officiating are.

So many simple tweaks and changes could vastly improve the reffing and subsequent complaining about the reffing. The replay system, overall consistency, subjectivity of the rules, interpretation of the rules, players understanding of the rules, intent calls, headshots, etc. The reffing is different in every single game, for every single team, for every single player, and it simply makes no sense.

That the league has an anti-honesty policy in regards to coaches and players voicing their opinions about the officiating speaks volumes to me.

The system is fixable, you are right on that. Replaying a game as fast as it is would add on a lot of extra time to get every call right. I tend to think that a ref that is watching television or standing above the play would to better thant he refs on the ice. Once again, the hockey purists would have a field day with changing the system. Also, could you stand being at a game that is 3 hours in length because every play has to be reviewed? I can understand why they don't want to add instant replay. On Berts hit last night? Thats a good instance of instant replay. During the game, going to the attendant every time to check to see if it was a penalty? That just adds a ton of extra time.

Just remember that every system you put in place is going to bite your team at the same time. How many calls have the Wings gotten away with this year? Then who are you going to blame?

IMHO, the only way to make the reffing system better is to change it. Have one ref standing above the glass watching the play. The combine PROVED that worked! Why won't they institute that?

As for the coaches and players not discussing the reffing, I agree on that. If there is a disagreement with the reffing, take it up with the league office. That is the way it is done in USA hockey at the lowest level. That is the way it should be done at the highest level as well. Bad mouthing refs should be fined. What should be allowed is an evaluation of the refs and the situation. I know I have been brought into those from time to time.

One situation happened a year ago in a JV game when there was a check from behind, which I called. I gave a 5 minute because I felt there was an intent to injure. Instead of the coach going off at the public about how dumb the call was, he went to the league office and there was an inquiry opened. Tape of the game was shown and I had to explain my call, which I did. In the end, the call was explained and what I did was right.

I guess I would like to hear what you propose to improve the game without adding on 3-5 minutes in between puck drops to analyze the play. Maybe during commercial breaks the refs see the highlights of the game from toronto to evaluate possible penalties? Can they give them out at that time? What about the ref above the ice level?

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Officials are people. therefor have a different point of view (it can happen) and different view of what is and is not a penalty.

I understand that it should not be that way, but I guess until Apple comes out with the iRef app for the iPod it is a human element that seems to be

the real issue here.... there will be perfection in the officiating when there is a perfect person to do it, since no person is.....I guess it is what it is.

Nightfall likes this

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Why does everyone say that a game will be 3 hours longer if the officiating is fixed? That's such an overreaction to a very modest statement.

Nowhere did I say that every single play should be reviewable, so please don't put words in my mouth to make my comments sound absurd. All I said was that the replay system as it is now is very flawed. There is a very vague line as to what is reviewable, and what isn't. It is so flawed that sometimes simple plays take 10 minutes to review, instead of 30 seconds. Fixing the review system should make it faster, not longer. I never said every single play should be reviewable.

Ref homers like you love to jump to the argument that games will be hours longer if the review system is fixed, which is ridiculous. If anything, review improvements will speed up the game while also functioning as it should - to get the call correct.

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Why does everyone say that a game will be 3 hours longer if the officiating is fixed? That's such an overreaction to a very modest statement.

Nowhere did I say that every single play should be reviewable, so please don't put words in my mouth to make my comments sound absurd. All I said was that the replay system as it is now is very flawed. There is a very vague line as to what is reviewable, and what isn't. It is so flawed that sometimes simple plays take 10 minutes to review, instead of 30 seconds. Fixing the review system should make it faster, not longer. I never said every single play should be reviewable.

Ref homers like you love to jump to the argument that games will be hours longer if the review system is fixed, which is ridiculous. If anything, review improvements will speed up the game while also functioning as it should - to get the call correct.

Calm down cowboy. :D

I asked you to make some recommendations as to what you would change. I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth. So what changes would you make to the system to make it better and faster? You spoke a good line there, but offered no specifics. I am eagerly awaiting your reply.

Speaking of putting words in peoples mouths, I said it would be 30 minutes longer (total of 3 hours if you would have taken the opportunity to read what I wrote) not "hours longer" like you said. Also, calling me out to be a ref homer because I am looking to improve the game as well? Come on man. So I guess in the "putting words in your mouth" statement applies to you as well. Not that you will apologize for it....

Lets discuss how we can make reffing better here. At least I brought ideas to the table with specifics. :)

Edited by Nightfall

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There is always going to be the element of human error involved. Even if Toronto reviews more plays, people will still come up with conspiracy theories when the calls don't go their way. Instead of the refs, they will just complain about the incompetency of the reviewers. I do not think we would really be changing anything except making the games slightly longer. I'm sure more correct calls will be made, but as Nightfall stated, the wings will get away with less too.

I have watched all but maybe five wings' games this season, and we have gotten away with our fair share of calls, just as any team does. It is probably not 50/50, but would you really expect it to be? Human error does not work that way. It is no surprise that every fan base has very selective memory when it comes to bad calls - they will always remember the times when they get screwed more than the times when they benefit.

When you are driving in late to work and you hit a red light, do you get irritated and complain? I think most people do, but what they don't consider is how many green lights they made before the red. Selective memory, you only remember the bad things.

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