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luvpucks

Anyone want to discuss calls/no calls/GI going into the playoffs?

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First off I'm a fan of multiple teams through multiple sports like I'm sure most of ya'll are too. I've never been one to put a blame on the refs for bad officiating because I believe if my team truely wanted a win, they wouldn't put a decision in their hands. However, I've never seen so many bad calls going against any team I've pulled for. The lack of inconsistency is what I blame to coincidence but you really can't help but wonder. Just in the last couple weeks alone, I've seen terrible going against the Red Wings. Such as:

- Lupul getting a goal while draped all over Howard

- GI against Holmstrom. Some I can concede with, but the majority are perfect screens/deflections. If the refs are going to wave them off, keep them consistent with the rest of the goals allowed throughout the league.

- Abby gets a boarding call while his check is a good 5ft from the boards.

- Minnesota gets the goal while the puck is out of sight for a good couple seconds then magically reappears in the net. Where was the whistle?

- High sticks to the face of Draper and Franzen. Blood dripping down their face but no calls.

- Stuart gets tripped and the turnover leads to a go not a second later.

- Nashville's Franson throws 2 punches to the back of Eaves head while they are going for a puck...then another blatant one in the middle of the ice. This is the one that pisses me off the most. Everyone saw it and with how strict the league is being about shots to the head, NOTHING was called.

- Holmstrom gets tripped on a breakaway, no penalty shot, no penalty call.

I know I left many out from the last couple weeks but these are the ones that stood out for me. So my question is this. Can this be blamed on a coincidence of bad officiating? Or something more? And do you think it will continue in the playoffs?

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After years of defending the league against accusations of intentionally biased officiating, I'm no longer confident that everything is on the up-and-up. I think incompetence is a factor when bad officiating happens, and I also think it's an incredibly hard job that comes with mistakes. But I also believe there's more to it. Part of it is it seems the league is aware of public perception and attempts to react to it. I think the talk that Detroit was getting too much favoritism (especially at home), backed up by some convincing stats linked to on some very active internet forums, was one example. Since that public discussion, the pendulum seems to have swung to the opposite extreme. Just like foul and penalty disparities at half-time or intermissions seem to always magically "turn around" with calls going the other way to even things up later in the game.

I think we're all being naive if we don't think it's at least possible that inequities in market sizes matter. Big market teams get nationally televised games; small-potatoes teams do not. Look at all the major sports and it's the same. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cowboys, Giants, Patriots, Knicks, Celtics, Heat, Lakers, Rangers Penguins and Red Wings all get more attention. They are either playing in huge TV markets or have marketable stars who have appeal that goes beyond the local fan base.

So to think that this league, or any other, would never dream of letting that affect how they handle their affairs both on and off the playing surface, is probably ridiculous, even though we've been conditioned to buy into it. Stars get favorable treatment all the time. The top NBA players go to the line when a rookie role player who makes the same play doesn't. Supplemental discipline from the NHL is another example. If it had been Matt Cooke instead of Malkin, would there have been an instigator suspension for the Zetterberg incident in 2009? It's bad business to subtract a star player from the game's premier event. So why would entire teams be immune from the same kind of preferential treatment?

But hey, professional sports leagues are in an enviable position. For some reason, everyone believes there is this unassailable sanctity in officiating. It's as if money can corrupt everything except pro sports officials. Sure, the Donaghy thing was a black eye to the league, but has it really hurt the NBA? Even with a guy going to jail after admitting he affected the outcome of games for money, there's this pervasive attitude that it's okay, it was just one guy acting on his own, it wasn't because of a league mandate, so surely it's not indicative of a bigger problem.

Even as fans, we tend to feel ridiculous for bringing up egregious "mistakes" by officials. "Everyone gets bad calls sometimes." It's one hell of a cat bird seat the pro sports leagues are in. No matter how bad or one-sided the calls may seem (see the 2002 Sacramento-Los Angeles WCF and the 2006 Miami-Dallas NBA Finals for Exhibits A and B), you'll be dismissed as a whiner, sore loser or conspiracy-freak for saying you think something smells. What would it take to really create an insurmountable problem for a pro sports league? Is there anything a pro sports league couldn't sweep under the rug? I'm not sure. People love sports and they want to believe.

All this being said, I'm not 100% convinced that there's corruption going on. I try to take a step back and look at the big picture. Detroit, another team with a huge following, was accused of being on the receiving end of a lot of favoritism. Ironically, I thought they outplayed teams to such an extent that they deserved an even wider disparity in calls for/against. But I'm not dismissing the possibility those accusations had some merit and I just didn't see it.

Anyway, huge rant here, but I've been taking notice recently of some fishy stuff that's been going on in the NHL. And my team just won the game that has elevated my own suspicions, so this isn't some sour-grapes rant. It's cause for concern.

Legendary D In 03 and bdavis like this

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First off I'm a fan of multiple teams through multiple sports like I'm sure most of ya'll are too. I've never been one to put a blame on the refs for bad officiating because I believe if my team truely wanted a win, they wouldn't put a decision in their hands. However, I've never seen so many bad calls going against any team I've pulled for. The lack of inconsistency is what I blame to coincidence but you really can't help but wonder. Just in the last couple weeks alone, I've seen terrible going against the Red Wings. Such as:

- Lupul getting a goal while draped all over Howard

- GI against Holmstrom. Some I can concede with, but the majority are perfect screens/deflections. If the refs are going to wave them off, keep them consistent with the rest of the goals allowed throughout the league.

- Abby gets a boarding call while his check is a good 5ft from the boards.

- Minnesota gets the goal while the puck is out of sight for a good couple seconds then magically reappears in the net. Where was the whistle?

- High sticks to the face of Draper and Franzen. Blood dripping down their face but no calls.

- Stuart gets tripped and the turnover leads to a go not a second later.

- Nashville's Franson throws 2 punches to the back of Eaves head while they are going for a puck...then another blatant one in the middle of the ice. This is the one that pisses me off the most. Everyone saw it and with how strict the league is being about shots to the head, NOTHING was called.

- Holmstrom gets tripped on a breakaway, no penalty shot, no penalty call.

I know I left many out from the last couple weeks but these are the ones that stood out for me. So my question is this. Can this be blamed on a coincidence of bad officiating? Or something more? And do you think it will continue in the playoffs?

You might wanna watch that one again..I think Stuart fell on his own. I do agree with the rest though the Zebras are terrible !

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You might wanna watch that one again..I think Stuart fell on his own. I do agree with the rest though the Zebras are terrible !

Yeah I did see it and somewhat agree but I can't help but feel that if roles were reversed that Detroit would have been penalized

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I know I have said it before, but I will say it again....

I am just like the OP. I watch a lot of hockey. The Red Wings are my favorite team, but I love the sport of hockey enough where I will watch just about any game. In all my time watch all this hockey, I really haven't seen any kind of preferential treatment to one team or another.

Now, when you watch a lot of hockey, you see a lot of slow motion replays of calls and non calls. When you have the benefit of slow motion replays, it makes it easy for the common fan to say the refs made the wrong or right call, or to say a call should have been made.

One thing is certain, as long as human beings are referees, mistakes are going to be made. Human perception is the key, and all calls/non-calls are based on that. The refs are going to be blamed, and never credited. There is no way you are going to improve the current system in terms of calls. Now, they could review no goals when it comes to goalie interference. Otherwise, the last thing we want to do is to introduce slow motion replay across the board. It would be nice to catch the high stick on Franzen that happened in the Chicago game today, but at the same time, for as many as we catch for the Wings, there would be others that would be called against us.

The current system is not a flawed system, but the human beings are flawed. Could the NHL get better refs? I don't think so. I have season tickets to the Griffins, and I don't see any great improvement down in the league below. I think the only way to improve the current system is to change the system. Until then, you just have to deal with things the way they are.

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The lack of professionalism amongst NHL referees disgusts me almost every game. They are a joke. That's all I'm gonna say.

Explain

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I know I have said it before, but I will say it again....

I am just like the OP. I watch a lot of hockey. The Red Wings are my favorite team, but I love the sport of hockey enough where I will watch just about any game. In all my time watch all this hockey, I really haven't seen any kind of preferential treatment to one team or another.

Now, when you watch a lot of hockey, you see a lot of slow motion replays of calls and non calls. When you have the benefit of slow motion replays, it makes it easy for the common fan to say the refs made the wrong or right call, or to say a call should have been made.

One thing is certain, as long as human beings are referees, mistakes are going to be made. Human perception is the key, and all calls/non-calls are based on that. The refs are going to be blamed, and never credited. There is no way you are going to improve the current system in terms of calls. Now, they could review no goals when it comes to goalie interference. Otherwise, the last thing we want to do is to introduce slow motion replay across the board. It would be nice to catch the high stick on Franzen that happened in the Chicago game today, but at the same time, for as many as we catch for the Wings, there would be others that would be called against us.

The current system is not a flawed system, but the human beings are flawed. Could the NHL get better refs? I don't think so. I have season tickets to the Griffins, and I don't see any great improvement down in the league below. I think the only way to improve the current system is to change the system. Until then, you just have to deal with things the way they are.

Nice essay but if you've truly been watching hockey as long as you imply, you would know that the on-ice quality of NHL refereeing has been steadily nosediving for years. And it actually got worse when they added another.

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Nice essay but if you've truly been watching hockey as long as you imply, you would know that the on-ice quality of NHL refereeing has been steadily nosediving for years. And it actually got worse when they added another.

Sorry to disagree with you. It has been the same since the lockout. If anything, they started very strict and things have gotten a little less strict in the last few years. I would prefer a little more consistency when it comes to calls. Keep the games called the same across the board. Even when the playoffs hit.

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Sorry to disagree with you. It has been the same since the lockout. If anything, they started very strict and things have gotten a little less strict in the last few years. I would prefer a little more consistency when it comes to calls. Keep the games called the same across the board. Even when the playoffs hit.

Right. National media is referencing the inconsistencies. Local media is referencing the inconsistencies. It's pretty much common knowledge that most people are dumbfounded half the time on what gets called and what doesn't. But you say it's all good, so I guess it must be.

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Right. National media is referencing the inconsistencies. Local media is referencing the inconsistencies. It's pretty much common knowledge that most people are dumbfounded half the time on what gets called and what doesn't. But you say it's all good, so I guess it must be.

Ah, a man of few words and little explanation. Let me know if you want to have a serious discussion about refereeing. I offered a lot of discussion points, and you do your best part to sidestep them. Bring up some topics in specific on refereeing and lets have a discussion about them and how we can make them better OR what is wrong with the current system. Give some specifics like I did. I suppose its easier to make yourself look like a martyr.

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Bring back helmet cams for the refs. Otherwise our viewing angles are different than theirs, even when we're in the stands.

Edited by vangvace

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I've been noticing lately, it's seems like the League is more concerned with little hooks and holds, getting in someone's way, and accidentally putting the puck over the glass in your own end to call as penalties, than things that can injure a player (punches to the head, sitting on a goalie, hitting someone in the knee).

Also I don't trust Bettman at all. I think he's to concerned about parity, saving teams from going bankrupt, has his favorite teams, and is to involved with the outcome of the games. He doesn't seen to let things happen on their own, which is why we watch sports.

I'll add, I have no idea how 4 officials missed the high stick on Franzen.

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I'll add, I have no idea how 4 officials missed the high stick on Franzen.

Put on the stripes and ref sometime. I used to think the same way until I started reffing. These kinds of things are missed at every level of hockey.

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- Abby gets a boarding call while his check is a good 5ft from the boards.

Hitting a guy into the boards from five feet out would, in most cases, constitute boarding. It has to do with hitting a player into the boards while he is in a particularly vulnerable situation.

To take on the persona of many people here who I have argued against in the "clean hit penalized" threads:

Keep your head up! If you get wasted into the boards or in open ice because you had your head down, it's your fault and there shouldn't be a penalty!

Now, back as myself:

That mindset didn't help Kris Draper or Ace Bailey very much, did it?

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The ref defenders are missing the point. Most of the complaints aren't simply "hindsight is 20/20" situations. The outrageous ones are the ones that are obvious WITHOUT a replay, and then the replay just confirms it. Those are what we are seeing a lot of, and it's ridiculous that so many things are not called one night and called the next.

I still can't understand how Franzen getting high sticked and bleeding wasn't AT LEAST a 2 minute minor instead of the whole automatic four minute double minor for blood. That sort of stuff is blatantly obvious, even before the replay.

And how can you explain when they are looking right at a violation like that where someone gets hurt or is behind the play and doesn't call a thing? Obviously they saw it and decided NOT to call it, it wasn't a "mistake." Most likely it was a "Oh, I didn't call it right that second so now I can't call it at all" situation. Garbage.

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The ref defenders are missing the point. Most of the complaints aren't simply "hindsight is 20/20" situations. The outrageous ones are the ones that are obvious WITHOUT a replay, and then the replay just confirms it. Those are what we are seeing a lot of, and it's ridiculous that so many things are not called one night and called the next.

I still can't understand how Franzen getting high sticked and bleeding wasn't AT LEAST a 2 minute minor instead of the whole automatic four minute double minor for blood. That sort of stuff is blatantly obvious, even before the replay.

And how can you explain when they are looking right at a violation like that where someone gets hurt or is behind the play and doesn't call a thing? Obviously they saw it and decided NOT to call it, it wasn't a "mistake." Most likely it was a "Oh, I didn't call it right that second so now I can't call it at all" situation. Garbage.

I agree with you. The refs just didn't see the call. You know when a ref sees a high stick it is a penalty EVERY TIME. I was listening to the Hawks radio feed while driving through Chicago and the Franzen high stick happened. Even the announcers thought it was Franzen's own stick that caused it. The refs conferred and no one saw it.

Now, if you are advocating that the refs should look at instant replay to determine if there was an infraction, that is a different story. Just make sure you add on about 10-20 minutes of extra time per game for all the instant replays. Then also be ready to see the Wings get nailed for some calls that they otherwise would have gotten away with. I am ok with instant replay being used more often, especially in the cases of high sticking and waived off goals from goalie interference.

Could the games be called more consistently? I do. At the same time though, I do have to agree that the refs are being asked to do an impossible job. Call every game 100% accurately. That just isn't going to happen unless the system changes.

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Ah, a man of few words and little explanation. Let me know if you want to have a serious discussion about refereeing. I offered a lot of discussion points, and you do your best part to sidestep them. Bring up some topics in specific on refereeing and lets have a discussion about them and how we can make them better OR what is wrong with the current system. Give some specifics like I did. I suppose its easier to make yourself look like a martyr.

Do you even know what a martyr is or do you just like the way it sounds? Am I gonna die over this?

There's nothing to discuss. The system is flawed. Consistency has not been achieved. Not by a mile. I suppose if I regarded consistency as a small facet, like you apparently, it wouldn't be a big deal. Consistency is everything as teams would be able to observe the parameters and fashion a game. As it stand right now, it's changing from period to period and there are glaring missed/bad/non calls that are occurring with too much frequency from the greatest hockey league in the world.

Good calls, bad calls, bulls*** calls. Whatever. As long as it is consistent. And it isn't even close.

Edited by Broken 16

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Do you even know what a martyr is or do you just like the way it sounds? Am I gonna die over this?

There's nothing to discuss. The system is flawed. Consistency has not been achieved. Not by a mile. I suppose if I regarded consistency as a small facet, like you apparently, it wouldn't be a big deal. Consistency is everything as teams would be able to observe the parameters and fashion a game. As it stand right now, it's changing from period to period and there are glaring missed/bad/non calls that are occurring with too much frequency from the greatest hockey league in the world.

Good calls, bad calls, bulls*** calls. Whatever. As long as it is consistent. And it isn't even close.

A martyr can be more than just being killed for it.

Definition #2

We can both agree on the flawed system. I believe that a lot of the refs ability to call or not call things are their perception on things. Just like some people thought Stuart was tripped on Chicago's first goal, but that wasn't the case. Some refs may have called that a trip, others may have avoided calling it.

I think the perception of bad/non/good calls are all in perception of each individual who sees the play unfold. That is where the problem is to be honest. You may look at a set of plays and call different things as opposed to me, or a seasoned ref.

The system is working like it should....flawed.

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I agree with you. The refs just didn't see the call. You know when a ref sees a high stick it is a penalty EVERY TIME. I was listening to the Hawks radio feed while driving through Chicago and the Franzen high stick happened. Even the announcers thought it was Franzen's own stick that caused it. The refs conferred and no one saw it.

Now, if you are advocating that the refs should look at instant replay to determine if there was an infraction, that is a different story. Just make sure you add on about 10-20 minutes of extra time per game for all the instant replays. Then also be ready to see the Wings get nailed for some calls that they otherwise would have gotten away with. I am ok with instant replay being used more often, especially in the cases of high sticking and waived off goals from goalie interference.

Could the games be called more consistently? I do. At the same time though, I do have to agree that the refs are being asked to do an impossible job. Call every game 100% accurately. That just isn't going to happen unless the system changes.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...we get it. You've done some reffing and now you're a ref apologist. I've played some hockey. But I'm not going to excuse every s***ty play because hockey is hard.

No one expects the refs to be perfect. It is a tough job and mistakes will be made. But when a mistake is made people should ***** about it. NHL refs should be the best in the business. They should be striving for perfection. Should always be trying to improve.

If no one complains about the mistakes; if everything is always 'good enough' as you always seem to suggest, there's no incentive for improvement. If you just accept any mistake you remove any responsibility from the refs; then things are only going to get worse.

I don't even blame the refs themselves really. It's mostly the Bettman regime. There doesn't seem to be any expectation of improvement. They refuse to change stupid rules like 'intent to blow'. Goal reviews are wrong half the time. There seems to be a league mandate to make sure all the chinciest s*** gets called at least a few times each game; probably what is distracting the refs from noticing major stuff like blatant high-sticks and elbows. And I don't think anyone, anywhere, really even knows what interference is...or maybe the actual definition does change shift to shift.

...The current system is not a flawed system, ...

...We can both agree on the flawed system. ...

Heh. At least the inconsistency proves that you're a real ref. :hehe:

Edited by Buppy

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Yeah, yeah, yeah...we get it. You've done some reffing and now you're a ref apologist. I've played some hockey. But I'm not going to excuse every s***ty play because hockey is hard.

No one expects the refs to be perfect. It is a tough job and mistakes will be made. But when a mistake is made people should ***** about it. NHL refs should be the best in the business. They should be striving for perfection. Should always be trying to improve.

If no one complains about the mistakes; if everything is always 'good enough' as you always seem to suggest, there's no incentive for improvement. If you just accept any mistake you remove any responsibility from the refs; then things are only going to get worse.

I don't even blame the refs themselves really. It's mostly the Bettman regime. There doesn't seem to be any expectation of improvement. They refuse to change stupid rules like 'intent to blow'. Goal reviews are wrong half the time. There seems to be a league mandate to make sure all the chinciest s*** gets called at least a few times each game; probably what is distracting the refs from noticing major stuff like blatant high-sticks and elbows. And I don't think anyone, anywhere, really even knows what interference is...or maybe the actual definition does change shift to shift.

I am not as much a ref apologist as I am a ref "understandist". I don't agree with the reffing system as a whole right now. I believe that the NHL should use technology to make the system better and more accurate.

I believe the system is as good as its going to get. You talk about striving to improve, and well, I don't see how the refs can get any better than they are today without a change to the system of reffing. Either a team of refs who watch a camera system and can slow the play down and call accurate penalties. Another idea was a ref that stands on a platform in the scorers table and watches the game from above. The NHL Combine proved that this worked better than a 2 ref system, but this involves massive changes to the system that the NHL is not ready to take on yet.

Otherwise, I totally agree with you. Everything you mentioned in the last paragraph could be fixed with instant replay. Intent to blow? Go to instant replay and look at it. Goalie interference? Check the replay. The refs should be striving for perfection, but the system is as good as it is going to get unless the system changes.

Oh, and by the way, it helps to include my entire phrase when you quote me. Do you work for Fox News or something?

The current system is not a flawed system, but the human beings are flawed.

I suppose it could have been worded differently. The system as a whole does need to be changed in order to make it 100% accurate. If the system doesn't change, then you can blame human perception.

Edited by Nightfall

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Oh, and by the way, it helps to include my entire phrase when you quote me. Do you work for Fox News or something?

No, he works for MSNBC.

And yes, there should have been no calls against Chicago today, heck, the Wings should have had at least 10 more call's against them.

Edited by Wingers17

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My question is why do they need 4 refs on the Ice, I like having 2 refs and 2 linesman. Why cant they have 1 of the refs in a replay booth. Give them no longer to make a call then a ref on the ice. have them look at camera angles where most infractions happen. Corners and in front of the net. I betcha the big calls that they miss like the homer calls get more accurate, without adding a lot of time on the game.

As for giving a break to the bigger markets... you have to be blind not to see that this happens all the time. Big spenders pay the big bills.

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I am not as much a ref apologist as I am a ref "understandist". I don't agree with the reffing system as a whole right now. I believe that the NHL should use technology to make the system better and more accurate.

I believe the system is as good as its going to get. You talk about striving to improve, and well, I don't see how the refs can get any better than they are today without a change to the system of reffing. Either a team of refs who watch a camera system and can slow the play down and call accurate penalties. Another idea was a ref that stands on a platform in the scorers table and watches the game from above. The NHL Combine proved that this worked better than a 2 ref system, but this involves massive changes to the system that the NHL is not ready to take on yet.

Otherwise, I totally agree with you. Everything you mentioned in the last paragraph could be fixed with instant replay. Intent to blow? Go to instant replay and look at it. Goalie interference? Check the replay. The refs should be striving for perfection, but the system is as good as it is going to get unless the system changes.

Oh, and by the way, it helps to include my entire phrase when you quote me. Do you work for Fox News or something?

I suppose it could have been worded differently. The system as a whole does need to be changed in order to make it 100% accurate. If the system doesn't change, then you can blame human perception.

Thought the smiley made the joke obvious. I thought it was funny. Like the bolded above...

Ribbing aside, I disagree with the idea that the refs can't get any better. Make-up/balance calls still happen. Calls based on player rep or team rep. 'Home-team' calls. Refs are swayed by injuries, fans, and players. Whole games when refs practically swallow the whistles... I can see one ref having a bad night, but 4 officials all going blind in the same game only to have one finally open their eyes to call a hook on some glove tap that didn't have an effect on the play.

A ref missing something or thinking he saw something that didn't actually happen is one thing. But these things can't be explained away by game-speed or poor angles or poor perception. Well, I suppose you could but it would be a pretty profound coincidence if it was all just poor perception by the refs.

But beyond that even, 'understanding' does not mean you just let every mistake go blameless. If a ref f***s up, he should be called on it, and should be man enough to say 'I f***ed up'. You can understand that refs aren't going to be perfect without excusing every mistake, as you seem to do.

100% correct needs to be the standard. You seem to want to lower the standard. Can't blame the refs, it's not possible to catch everything. So you lower the standard to 90% and say that's the 'best' anyone can do. But then the same logic applies to that standard. If the best is 90%, and refs are flawed humans, they can't be the best all the time...so then you have to drop to 80%...you're basically saying refs don't ever have to get anything right.

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Sorry, it was a long day for me yesterday. Driving back from Minnesota all in one day was more than I could handle on less than 4 hours of sleep and some bad caffeine. :lol:

It seems that people think I am giving the refs a get out of jail free card. That isn't the case. I am just saying people demand perfection, which is something that the refs cannot give. Every situation happens very quickly, and the ref is put in a position to make the call or not make it. Was it a dive or not? Was it a high stick? Think about how many other high sticks are missed in the course of other games, not just the Wings games.

I believe that the CURRENT system is as good as its going to get. The way the system is today, the refs are doing the best that they can. I personally believe that the NHL refs are the best refs in hockey. They are the best conditioned and most experienced. Did great refs like Kerry Frasier miss calls or make calls that didn't exist? Yes. Do these refs watch tape and learn from their mistakes? Yes. Will they make new mistakes and maybe get duped on a diving call next game? Yes. Point is, even the best refs are not going to call every game 100% correct. Especially when you have 1 million wings fans watching at home on HDTVs and DVRs with Ken and Mick analyzing every play.

I firmly believe that employing technology to make reffing better in the game is the best option to perfecting it. Either that or having a ref above ice level watching from a platform at the scorers table. The system as a whole needs to be changed.

At the end of the day, when the game is over, I see no reason for a ref to be apologetic other than to make the fans who lost have a whipping boy. At the end of a game I ref, if I screw up, I own up to it with the coaches. Most refs don't even say anything about it. I find this distasteful, but thats just me. In the NHL, the refs really are in a damned if you do damned if you don't scenario. Call a tripping call on a player who just had someone take a dive and a game winning goal was scored on the chance? The ref can apologize all he wants, but the fans are going to be pissed that the TV cameras and slow motion caught the dive and the ref didn't.

I still feel that many fans are asking for something that is just way out of the scope of reality.

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