Kukla's Korner Hockey
Listen to more busy officials, this time from the second round, as they make sure players know why calls were made, how to avoid getting in the box, and ensuring a game flows smoothly.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN
The dangerous culture of hitting that we see on a nightly basis often begins with an upward explosive body motion designed to generate maximum (and often excessive) force through contact. When a player stiffens his legs from a flexed position, elevates his shoulder and then throws his full force upward, the increased velocity created is significant. By elevating in this manner, the upward motion greatly increases the risk for some degree of head contact.
A charging penalty used to be called whenever a player’s skates left the ice to deliver a check. Very seldom is that penalty called in the modern game. Detroit defenceman Niklas Kronwall and Washington blueliner Brooks Orpik are two examples of players who launch themselves upward to make that devastating hit, but the list is long and extensive. The fact is, most players are guilty of this dangerous phenomenon when they try to make a high-impact hit. We make excuses and offer a free pass to high, hard hits when the checker has at least one blade in contact with the ice at the instant of impact, just before both skates go completely airborne....
The first step in reducing the potential for head contact is to dial down the upward velocity by forcing hitters to keep their skates on the ice prior to, and completely through, impact. Failure to do so should result in a charging penalty.
from Dave Hodge of TSN,
The NHL needs to start at the beginning and make sure the original calls are the right calls, and although video review and the way it is implemented is part of the problem, it just might be necessary to add more of it to get calls right the first time. If Washington coach Barry Trotz could have used a timeout to challenge the minor penalty given to Letang, he surely would have done so. It would be a better use of the coach’s challenge rule than for a razor-thin offside.
For all the preaching about doing whatever it takes to get calls right, the NHL allows itself to get some of the most important ones wrong because of what can and can’t be challenged, and because of what can be done to deal with things after the fact. “Thumbs down” to the system; it has to change.
more plus Hodge on coaching dismissals...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
It is, in fact, as good a concept as the “Let the boys decide it” approach to officiating that apparently is again codified as league policy.
A referee who doesn’t want to decide the game by very definition is, in fact, deciding it. Everyone would agree on that.
Beyond that, why not allow the boys to decide it all the time? Why have referees on the ice at all? Especially if they’re not going to call Matt Martin for tripping the unfortunate Vincent Trochek or Tom Wilson for kneeing Conor Sheary or Kris Letang for going Paul Bunyon on Viktor Stalberg’s mouth?
more topics including the playoff brackets...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
I say this every spring, and it seems to go unheeded, but it's worth noting again: On-ice officials need to follow the same regular-season standards for calling penalties during the playoffs.
Officiating is a thankless, merciless job, no question. But here's hoping that, this spring, the hook or the interference minor that is easy to call in the first period in Game 1 gets a consistent reaction from officials in overtime of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals -- and at every point in between.
You often hear people say, "Let the players decide the games." We would counter with, "Let the players who know how to play by the rules decide the games." Here's to calling the game as the rules were designed. That's the way to ensure the best or most deserving teams win the most important games. It doesn't happen by not calling penalties just because it's the playoffs.
more playoff topics...
The National Hockey League has 33 Full-Time Referees and 33 Full-Time Linesmen during the season. Only a portion of these officials get to work the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Below is the number of officials needed for each round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
1st ROUND – 20 Referees and 20 Linesmen
2nd ROUND – 12 Referees and 12 Linesmen
3rd ROUND – 8 Referees and 8 Linesmen
STANLEY CUP FINALS – 4 Referees and 4 Linesmen
2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS – 1ST ROUND
Here are the NHL officials selected today by the National Hockey League to work the 2016 NHL Playoffs.
Francis Charron, Gord Dwyer, Eric Furlatt, Jean Hebert, Dave Jackson, Marc Joannette, Steve Kozari, Frederick L’Ecuyer, Chris Lee, Wes McCauley, Brad Meier, Dan O'Halloran, Dan O'Rourke, Tim Peel, Kevin Pollock, Chris Rooney, Francois St.Laurent, Kelly Sutherland, Ian Walsh & Brad Watson.
Standby Referees: Trevor Hanson & Graham Skilliter.
Derek Amell, Steve Barton, David Brisebois, Scott Cherrey, Michel Cormier, Greg Devorski, Scott Driscoll, Ryan Galloway, Shane Heyer, Brad Kovachik, Matt MacPherson, Steve Miller, Brian Murphy, Jonny Murray, Derek Nansen, Tim Nowak, Brian Pancich, Pierre Racicot, Jay Sharrers & Mark Shewchyk.
Standby Linesmen: Trent Knorr & Kiel Murchison.
Listen as Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon describes throwing the game puck in the trash to get under the skin of the Anaheim Ducks.
NHL referee Wes McCauley has worked the last three Stanley Cup Finals, he is auditoning for his fourth...
from Cameron Axford of the National Post,
A new study says that French Canadian NHL referees give more penalties to English Canadian players.
Researchers Kevin Mongeon from Brock University and Neil Longley from the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently published a paper which examines ethnic bias in professional hockey.
The study looked at over 2.6 million player shifts in the 2008-2010 NHL seasons.
Ethnicities of both players and referees on the ice were recorded and put into three different categories — English Canadian, French Canadian and international. The conclusion was that French Canadian officials are quicker to punish English players than they would anyone else.
“The only category that had significant finding was French referees on English players,” said Mongeon. “It wasn’t the opposite across any other groups.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
There are two linesmen out there. All in all, they do a tremendous job, a point by the way I don’t believe anyone is arguing. And just as I’m willing to live with, shall we say, inconsistencies in home plate umpires calling balls and strikes, I’m OK if the guys in stripes are off an inch or two with their calls on plays that are 64 feet away from going in the net.
Through the middle of last week, with a grand total of 1,053 games played, there had been 69 coaching challenges on blue line calls. A total of 27 (39.1 percent) resulted in the linesmen’s calls being ruled incorrect and goals being wiped off the scoreboard because the play was indeed offside. In a league starving for offense, those lost goals hurt, but that’s a discussion (a lengthy one) for another day. Overall, with 27 errors recorded, we’re talking a fraction more than one — that’s one — play a week gone wrong.
Call me crazy, but I’m willing to live with the human element of officiating when it’s proven wrong roughly once a week on total number of offside calls that I’m not sure even astronomer Carl “Billions and Billions’’ Sagan could have quantified. If only the rest of my life was off by a mere inch or two about only once a week.
I understand striving for perfection, but if you’re taking out the hockey ruler, just make sure the net really measures 4 x 6 feet, the puck is 3 inches in diameter, and the boards open wide enough to wheel out the Zamboni. Then just drop the puck and let the boys play, the adults in stripes officiate.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org