Kukla's Korner Hockey
Elbow to the chin…
from the National Post via Canada.com,
The morning after a postgame Ottawa dressing room that was rife with complaints about the dropping of the standard for hooking and holding in this series, Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, didn’t give an inch to the Senators’ complaints.
In fact, he filed them under G—for gamesmanship.
“I appreciate it, but I’m oblivious to it. That approach to influencing the game, it’s archaic,” the head ref said. “The coaches stand up for their team, and I stand up for my team. We don’t score goals or miss the net.”
from Roy MacGregor at the Globe and Mail,
They have no nickname — Ducks, surely, is bad enough — but Bruce Hood says he couldn’t stop thinking that, somehow, the Broad Street Bullies were back in the Stanley Cup final.
Not the Ottawa Senators versus the Anaheim Ducks, as advertised. But the 2007 Ottawa Senators up against the Philadelphia Flyers, circa mid-1970s.
Hood is not as lost in time as it might appear. Something happened to the “new NHL” on Monday during Anaheim’s 3-2 victory. It became the “old NHL.” Or the “new new NHL,” where obstruction appears to have been welcomed back.
from the Dallas Morning News,
Walkom is well-respected and well-liked by his colleagues, and he has indeed run a tight ship. He has consistently rewarded officials who call the most penalties, and he has supported them steadfastly when they’ve made tough calls near the end of games or in overtime. His decision to sit veteran Kerry Fraser for the playoffs this season sent a clear message.
The problem is that many of these referees have taken the message to mean that every call is a good call, and that’s just not true.
from the Toronto Sun,
Those officials who call the game strictly by the book are not neccessarily those picked for the most ultimate and lucrative assignment, the Stanley Cup final.
Of course, NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom is looking for the best interpreters of the league’s obstruction standards, but he also has chosen four referees and four linesmen he believes won’t get too hot under the helmet in the most critical games of the year.
Among the eight referees who will receive third round assignments are Don Koharski and Bill McCreary, both of whom have more than 20 years experience. McCreary has worked in every Stanley Cup final series since 1994, while Koharski has been a referee since 1977.
read on for the list…
from the NY Post,
Goals are regularly waved off for “incidental contact,” but not this one against an otherwise impenetrable Martin Brodeur. Mike Fisher’s passing run onto Brodeur’s stick yanked the Devils’ goalie off balance, allowing Tom Preissing’s routine shot to break up a scoreless duel in the third period.
“In my mind, it was interference [with] the goaltender,” Lou Lamoriello said. “I don’t think it matters if it was intentional or not.
“All I know is he was thrown off balance. We don’t make excuses, but unfortunately, there was contact there.”
The NHL series manager wasn’t unsympathetic to Brodeur’s claim.
“That’s exactly what it was, incidental contact,” manager Charlie Banfield told The Post. “Brodeur had one foot inside the blue.
“We’re not saying it’s a penalty. It’s incidental contact. It’s a hockey play.”
from the Welland Tribune,
Craig Spada is hanging up his Fox 40.
After serving as a referee in the National Hockey League for six years, the 35-year-old Fort Erie native has decided to call it a career.
Family and travel were the two reasons he decided to walk away. He missed the family and hated the travel.
“The first couple of years I enjoyed the travel, but having kids changed my thinking on it,” he said.
Dan Marouelli, in his 24th season, was not among the 12 referees selected to move on to the next round. This marks the second straight year that Marouelli has been dropped after the opening round.
Also dropped from the first round rotation was veteran Mick McGeough, who worked the Stanley Cup final last year, along with Eric Furlatt, Mike Hasenfratz, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Rourke and Tim Peel.
from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,
A consistent set of rules is great, but does it mean taking the “feel of the game” element out of officiating? And is that best? A penalty may be a penalty, but what about a situation such as when the referee momentarily loses sight of the puck near the goalie? Would a “feel” ref, who might wait to see if the puck still is moving before blowing his whistle, mean the difference in a game or possibly a series?
And what about a series that is teetering on the brink of chaos? Wouldn’t it be better to call things a little tighter early so the players get in line and don’t turn that inch they’re given into a mile?
Not an issue, Walkom says. There is no longer such a thing as the game being called tightly or loosely. It’s called by the rules. At least that’s the hope. Walkom admits it doesn’t always happen—and that’s another good reason, he says, for moving officials around.
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