Kukla's Korner Hockey
Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser provides answers at TSN:
The reason players are being ejected more frequently is due to a tightening of the standard imposed upon linesmen to reflect a zero tolerance for face-off “cheaters!” The linesmen take this element of their job very seriously, knowing full well the importance of conducting a fair face-off; especially in crucial areas of the ice. The last thing they want to do is impact the outcome of a game should a goal result from a bad face-off. In recent years additional markings on and around the end zone face-off dots have been added to ensure players line up square to one another and place their sticks on a white marking on the outer edge of their respective side of the dot.
Gaining player cooperation goes a long way in conducting fair face-offs and reducing player ejections. The best linesmen solicit cooperation through dialogue before players even set their positions at the dot.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN:
[Steve] Miller worked Game 1 of the Pittsburgh-Tampa series on April 13 and then Game 3 of the New York Ranger-Washington series on April 17. But he hasn’t worked since then.
On April 20, three days after Miller last worked, ESPN’s Outside the Lines presented an in-depth story about the ongoing, year-long controversy surrounding the as-yet unfound game-winning goal puck from overtime in Game 6 of last year’s Cup final in Philadelphia. Video and still photographs in the ESPN investigative feature appear to indicate Miller picked up the puck. Miller was portrayed as a suspect in the story about the much-talked about unsolved mystery.
In the story, Miller denied knowing of the puck’s whereabouts.
Miller has not worked a game since the story appeared. The NHL has confirmed Miller, for now, has been taken off active playoff duty.
Update 9:23pm ET: And more on this story from ESPN.
“That’s what’s thankless about this job. You try to do the right thing, you try to keep physicality in the game and you guys think that I enjoy hearing everybody saying [Raffi] Torres should have been suspended. Well that would have been the easy thing to do. If they want to go forward and say that type of hit or all head hits should be suspended, maybe this job will be easier, but I don’t think so.”
—Colin Campbell from yesterday’s interview on TSN Radio [audio link]
For more text of Campbell’s comments, check out the Globe & Mail
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
The toughest break at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon was not suffered by the Washington Capitals.
No, that painful distinction went to referee Chris Rooney, who suffered a severely fractured ankle in the second period of the New York Rangers’ 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their best-of-seven playoff series.
As Rooney went to the arena’s medical facilities to receive treatment, the game was delayed for several minutes while a reserve official prepared for action.
continue for more on the game…
Paul Devorski, Eric Furlatt, Marc Joannette, Greg Kimmerly, Steve Kozari, Dennis Larue, Chris Lee, Wes McCauley, Brad Meier, Dan O’Halloran, Dan O’Rourke, Tim Peel, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Chris Rooney, Kelly Sutherland, François St-Laurent, Stephen Walkom, Ian Walsh and Brad Watson.
continue for the linesmen…
TORONTO (April 1, 2011) – Veteran NHL referee Bill McCreary will officiate his final NHL regular season game tomorrow night, when the Washington Capitals host the Buffalo Sabres at Verizon Center, the National Hockey League announced today.
The site will be appropriate as McCreary began his four-decades-spanning NHL career by working a Capitals home game. McCreary’s debut as an NHL referee was on November 3, 1984, when the Caps hosted the New Jersey Devils at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. Tomorrow night’s game will be the 1,737th of his accomplished career.
“Over the course of an outstanding career, Bill McCreary established a level of excellence matched by very few in the history of our profession,” said Terry Gregson, NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating. “The level of esteem with which he has been regarded by his peers, officiating managers and NHL players and coaches is reflected in the number of playoff games he was selected to work – including a remarkable 15 Stanley Cup Finals.”
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Several fans in Nationwide Arena’s section 109 tonight said NHL official Paul Devorski made a “crying face” and an obscene gesture during the third period of the Blue Jackets’ 4-3 shootout win over the Wild.
NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell had no comment when contacted by The Dispatch. Devorski did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
Roughly 15 fans seated in or around the area sent emails or Twitter messages to The Dispatch shortly after the incident. One of them, Ritter Hoy, who was seated in the middle of the fifth row up from the glass, agreed to be interviewed by The Dispatch.
“Two guys in front of us started giving the refs (grief) after they clearly missed a call,” Hoy said. “Happens at every game, right?
“Well, the No. 10 official put his fingers up and rubbed his eyes and made a crying face, like ‘what are you going to do, cry?’ They started giving him more (grief) and he put his middle finger up to his chin and acted like he was scratching his face. It was very, very blatant. The whole section saw it and went crazy.”
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN responds to a rant about NHL officiating…
I honestly believe NHL refs are the best in pro sports. Yes they make mistakes, of course they do. They’re human. The game is 100 miles an hour. But when you compare the Big Four in North American sports, I’d take NHL officiating over the other three any day.
Also, read more responses to the fans from Pierre…
from Jack Edwards of NESN,
We raised this issue to the NHL in 2008, face-to-face with commissioner Gary Bettman and then-head of officiating Stephen Walkom. We asked for more transparency in all aspects of officiating, especially in the explanation of hard-to-understand calls and video reviews. For the record, Ottawa and CBC announcer Dean Brown was one of very few to join us in this polite but forceful request.
The answer from the podium at the NHL broadcasting meetings was quick and clear: “No.”
How about just video review? What if the 30 regional sports networks combined to pay a pool reporter to staff the “war room” so he or she could relay information to the broadcasters, letting us know what they’re looking at? “No.”
So you’re telling us that NHL Network isn’t soon likely to have a programming counterpart to the NFL Network’s Official Review?
I guess not.
Referee Gord Dwyer is likely to miss several weeks after suffering facial fractures when he was hit by a puck during Wednesday night’s game at Columbus between the Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators.
The League said Thursday that Dwyer had several fractures of the orbital bone after taking a puck in the right side of the face during Nashville’s 4-3 shootout victory. He needed stitches but the League said he’s doing well and could be going home in a day or so.
Dwyer is expected to miss several weeks, but the League said there’s no indication of any long-term damage.
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