Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
I miss NHL referee Mick McGeough. There, I have said it.
I miss the arm waving, the theatrics. You always knew when Mick was in the building, not like some of the anonymous zebras working now, with no names on their jerseys.
Can you tell Dean Morton from Dean Warren from Dean Martin or Dan O’Halloran from Dan O’Rourke? Nobody could turn a slashing penalty into something akin to a beheading with the colourful gesturing that McGeough offered up through close to 1,100 league games and 63 more in the playoffs through 20 seasons. He retired to become an NHL officiating mentor this year.
McGeough has showed up at Rexall Place several times this season, sitting up in the press box, far from where he wanted to be.
continued & I would normally link to the original source story, but the Edmonton Journal is really slow-loading today for me.
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NYT,
“Whatever you could do on a breakaway, if you had the skill to do it, you should be allowed to do that on a penalty shot,” Walkom said. “You can’t cross the goal line” — the basis for the rule prohibiting players from circling the net on a penalty shot — “and the puck can’t come to a stop.”
If a player did those things on a breakaway, he said, the other team would catch up and the breakaway would be gone.
What does concern Walkom during the spin-o-rama play is whether the shooter interferes with the goaltender as he is turning, preventing him from making the save. In Blake’s case, it was close, Walkom said, “but I don’t believe he interfered with him in making the save.”
As for the puck going backward, Walkom said officials did not adhere to a rigid definition of the puck moving from the goal. If they did, many penalty shots or shootout goals would be against the rules because “every time you stick handle, the puck goes backward,” Walkom said.
from Lightning Strikes,
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, said the ruling that Lightning goaltender Mike Smith deliberately threw his stick to disrupt Milan Hejduk’s shootout attempt on Thursday was the correct call.
“It was a very tough call. It was a gutsy call. It was a call that was made in an instant, and I support the call,” Walkom said.
Walkom said the referees did it right by conferring amongst themselves to try to get the call correct. As for perhaps in the future expanding video replay to include such situations, Walkom said no because, “Where does it stop. It’s a judgment call. You can watch this play 1,000 times, and the only thing you can say is the decision that was made you need to support.
In case you didn’t not see the disputed call, you can see it here.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said today he was surprised when Ryan Miller told him that referee Tim Peel swore at the Buffalo goaltender during Monday night’s game in Pittsburgh.
“That would be unusual,” Ruff said following today’s morning skate. “The referees 99 percent of the time show a lot of class and they’re under a lot of duress. They take a lot of abuse, even to a point where they give players a lot of room.
“If this is just that rare occasion, it’s a rare occasion that happened. For the most part, they keep a great handle on it because they take the majority of abuse in the games.”
Calls for comment to Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s officiating supervisor, have not been returned.
“There is no Ryan Miller situation,” Frank Brown, the NHL’s vice president of communications, said in an e-mail to The Buffalo News today.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
At the end of a 5-1/2-minute session with reporters today in the Amherst Pepsi Center, Miller was asked about an end-of-practice chat with coach Lindy Ruff. The Buffalo goaltender revealed he was telling his coach that one of the officials swore at him during a stoppage in play a couple of minutes before the Sabres received a bench minor for arguing an interference call on Thomas Vanek.
“It was just about the referee last night, a brief conversation I had with the ref that was a little surprising to me,” Miller said. “He told me to “go [bleep] myself’ because I was just asking a question. I was just kind of joking around [to Ruff], saying, “Maybe that kind of started what got the bench minor going.’
“To be honest, I was respectful. I asked him a question and he told me maybe I should “go [bleep] myself.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Two seasons ago, in the aftermath of the fight in which Orr broke Todd Fedoruk’s face with a devastating punch, NHL VP Colin Campbell suggested the time had come for the league to at least investigate the possibility of eliminating fighting from the game.
Campbell was ahead of his time. For the time has come today for the NHL not only to investigate the possibility, the time has come for the NHL to abolish fighting. It’s simply too dangerous.
Watching heavyweight fights such as the one in Tampa on Wednesday between the Rangers’ Orr and Lightning’s David Koci has become the equivalent to viewing the aftermath of automobile accidents on the Interstate. They’re impossible to look at without becoming queasy.
from Edward Fraser of the Hockey News,
Even with two referees, penalties are often witnessed by only one or go unnoticed altogether. Equally as often, a penalty is called by one referee, but not by the other, even if he had a better view of the play.
Why then, if the ultimate goal is to get the call right, does the NHL not allow a post-penalty discussion, with the two referees coming together to talk about marginal or questionable calls?
They should. And if after the consultation it’s decided the wrong call was made, refs should be allowed to “pick up the flag,” so to speak.
from Razor With An Edge,
...I think the game could do without an icing rule all together and here’s why:
1. The modern NHL goaltender can handle the puck every bit as deftly as a defenseman so pucks sent down the ice to relieve pressure should merely be played and transitioned by the goalies. Take a look at how strong puckhandling goalies like Marty Turco trap teams who “ice” the puck during penalty killing situations, which is allowed. Same thing could be employed throughout the game if teams mindlessly fired the puck the length of the ice in an attempt to change players.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
It’s the touch penalties - hooking when a player’s stick taps an opposing player’s glove or hip, or holding when a player’s free hand touches his competitor - that drive coaches, managers and players crazy.
NHL traditionalists believe a hook or hold means a player has been restrained. Yet, the standard established three seasons ago is clearly less than that, and it has GMs talking.
As one general manager summarized, “There has been more complaining about officiating among GMs this year than in recent years.”
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Removing the trapezoid, the area behind the goal line where NHL goaltenders are allowed to play the puck, is another idea that will get discussed by the competition committee.
Some believe, the combination of forwards barreling in on the forecheck, protected from obstruction, and goaltenders not being allowed to freely move the puck have contributed to injury.
Paul Kelly wonders if Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn would have been in the same vulnerable position if Vesa Toskala had been allowed to get to the puck before Montreal’s Tom Kostopoulos raced in to complete his check…
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