Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
If there is an internal published list of players for the officials to watch for, it's a well-guarded secret at this point. Directives sent to the referees and linesmen originate from the desk of Stephen Walkom - V.P. of Officiating or his counterpart in Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
Regardless of whether a directive has been sent or not, based on what I have observed and previously commented on, Brendan Gallagher has earned a rightful place on the Referee's "Ten Most Wanted" list.
Even after committing the holding infraction against Braydon Coburn, Gallagher completed a theatrical dive with both skates into the net in an attempt to fool the referee(s) and as the puck went past Ray Emery. Good for referee Dan O'Rourke for being dialed in from the neutral zone to make the correct call. I can assure you it was no accident or lucky catch by O'Rouke. A refs' list of known offenders is nothing new and Gallagher is not the only Habs player to be drawing special attention from the ref's this season. No one likes to be embarrassed—Diving/embellishment is near the top every ref's list!
You can watch all the induction speeches at NHL.com.
A recap of the inductions by Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
from Stu Hackel at The Hockey News,
When the league’s GM’s meet on Tuesday, the Coach’s Challenge is supposedly an agenda item again, as it has been periodically since Florida GM Dale Tallon proposed it 2010.
But predicting what might happen is a fool’s errand. In the winter of 2013, it seemed the managers favored implementing a challenge but nothing came of it. Six months later, the GMs actually approved expanding video review to be sure all four-minute high sticking penalties were correctly called. Mysteriously, NHL Hockey Ops never implemented it.
Once upon a time, the NHL’s video remedies to get the call right was the sports industry standard. Now,they’ve fallen behind, the league having resisted any expansion, including the Coach’s Challenge. After last March’s manager’s meeting, Coyotes GM Don Maloney summarized a few of the reasons why. “We all have sat there through goals being reviewed and how long it takes,” Maloney said. “We’re really concerned about taking the game away from the on-ice officials and taking it up to big brother and having the game regulated from above, and nobody wants that, including big brother.”
more with numerous video examples of why there should be a coach's challenge...
from the CP at TSN,
... On Monday he'll be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2014 with Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek, Mike Modano, Rob Blake and the late Pat Burns.
McCreary, who was elected in his first year of eligibility, will be the 16th official in the Hall of Fame.
"I think it has a lot to do with his performance on the ice as an official in the game over a real long period of time," NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom said in a phone interview. "I think in the modern era, Bill McCreary is synonymous with excellence in officiating. He's just one of the greatest officials that the NHL's ever had."
The Guelph, Ont., native said he refereed with two words in mind: fair and safe. They got him to seven straight Stanley Cup final series and eight overall under four different NHL management teams.
"The consistency part, that's what an official strives to be is consistent within himself," said McCreary, who's now a spokesman for Crown Royal's "Make the Right Call" campaign to promote responsible drinking and an off-ice officiating manager. "So I think that shows that that accomplishment was achieved."
Referees are often the first people on the ice to get booed before a game and receive the brunt of criticism from players, coaches and wrath from fans. Somehow, McCreary earned respect all around.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Seems rather silly.
The NHL has invested millions of dollars to outfit every NHL arena with state-of-the-art technology and has the ability to review every single goal at its multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art Situation Room in Toronto that has been copycatted by other professional sports leagues.
Yet night after night, unreviewable “incidental contact” rulings by referees — Wild fans are very familiar with these — are wiping out goals in a league that’s always searching for more offense.
Even a goalie like Wild veteran Niklas Backstrom, who is appreciative of the league’s directive to officials to protect goaltenders and feels that many laymen don’t understand how a simple bump can inhibit a goalie’s ability to stop the puck, thinks this type of washout should be double-checked and potentially overturned by the league’s team of video reviewers in Toronto.
via the Situation Room blog,
At 9:44 of the first period in the Columbus Blue Jackets/Carolina Hurricanes game, a "good goal" call for Carolina was signalled by the referee in the attacking zone. After the four on-ice officials huddled it was determined that Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin pushed Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis McElhinney into the net with the puck. According to Rule 78.5 (ix) "Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee when a goaltender has been pushed into the net together with the puck after making a save." This is not a reviewable play therefore the final on-ice decision by the referees stands - no penalty and no goal
The Situation Room in Toronto has no control of plays like this since the referee ruled incidental contact of the goalie.
Agree or disagree, the final say on a play like this should be made by the Situation Room where they have access to replays like this.
If the NHL wants to get as many calls right as possible, things have to change. We are seeing these types of calls on a nightly basis.
from erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
The league did take a step in that direction during the summer when it opted to use a more liberal interpretation on pucks that are directed in by a skate with officials looking for a more defined “distinct kicking motion” when plays are reviewed in the NHL Situation Room.
Perhaps it is time to start looking at another rule that needs to go — the intent to blow the whistle.
According to Rule 78.5, apparent goals shall be disallowed “when the referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle.”
This just seems defeatist to take a potentially legitimate goal off the board because the official was about to blow the play dead, but never actually followed through with the act.
It happened twice this week on goals that were negated on plays that would have been quick whistles, let alone quick “intent” to blow a whistle.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
So Braden Holtby trips over his own skates after attempting to move the puck against a Luke Glendenning forecheck, the puck is shot into what becomes an empty net by the Red Wings in D.C. on Wednesday, referee Mike Leggo is watching the entire sequence from the right wing circle, doesn’t have his arm in the air signifying a penalty, and as soon as the puck goes in, he begins with the washout “no goal” signal.
Why? Why, even if the absurd goaltender interference call were made initially by referee Ghislain Hebert, out by the blue line, why didn’t Leggo correct him? Why wouldn’t he have told his partner he got it wrong? What was Leggo doing?
The NHL doesn’t need a coaches’ challenge. It needs referees who are unafraid to communicate with one another in order to make the correct call. It needs referees who don’t make calls — or reinforce them — based on things they never saw.
And the NHL needs a policy in which these referees actually have the responsibility to meet with the media — in the form of a designated pool reporter — after games to explain themselves, the way major league umpires do when there’s a controversial play.
more topics include Gordie Howe and some escrow talk...
added 4:22pm, Jim Matheson agrees with Brooks via tweets,
Agree whole-heartedly with @NYP_Brooskie that NHL is totally wrong not allowing refs to talk after games to pool reporter to discuss calls.
Mind you, NHL doesn't ever want us knowing who the zebras either by taking their name bars off.
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen felt a stick blade jab him in the face during a game last week against the San Jose Sharks. Vatanen fell and lifted his hand to his mouth, either to draw attention to the foul or simply as a reaction to being stabbed by a stick.
The referee Tim Peel blew his whistle for a high-sticking penalty against the Sharks — but he also penalized Vatanen for embellishment. Anaheim Coach Bruce Boudreau protested, but to no avail.
Peel judged Vatanen to be exaggerating, a violation of N.H.L. Rule 64, which calls for a two-minute penalty against “any player who blatantly dives” or “embellishes a fall or a reaction” to influence a referee. The call against Vatanen was part of a crackdown on what the league sees as rampant fakery among players.
“Embellishment in the game is a real problem today,” Colin Campbell, the N.H.L.’s senior executive vice president for hockey operations, said in June. “We understand players are trying to draw penalties. We feel it’s out of control.”
Or, as the bombastic hockey traditionalist Don Cherry once observed, “We’ve got to watch that we don’t start acting like those goofy soccer guys.”
continued and below, watch the Vatanen embellishment...
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