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Category: NHL-Officiating

French Canadian Refs Make More Penalty Calls

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.”


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Put The Cameras Away

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.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- The LA Kings Not Only Lost A Goal By A Bruce Boudreau Challenge, They Lost 36 Seconds Too

via Helene Elliott tweets,

asked NHL why clock was not reset after apparent Kings goal was disallowed after review. awaiting answer. will pass along when i hear.

Mistake by the timekeepers in not resetting clock to time of offside, NHL exec told me.

Darryl Sutter via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,

On the officials failing to put time on the clock after the disallowed goal:

Well, there should have been. Were you watching the game? … So should there have been time? … So if you thought there should and they didn’t, then they made a mistake, didn’t they? Ask the question in full so I can know what you’re talking about.

The Ducks defeated the Kings 4-2 and you can watch the offside challenge below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Now It’s Your Turn For A Power Play

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the biggest challenges facing officiating in the NHL is the effort to mitigate bias or persuasion as much as humanly possible.

I say humanly possible because it’s critical to note that the referees calling penalties and overseeing the run of play aren’t automatons. Despite rigorous training and a wealth of experience, it’s inevitable that at some point in time, an official will slide under the microscope of a fan base that believes their team has been unfairly victimized by the whistle.

I will defend referees to some degree here: I think examples like Stephane Auger and Alex Burrows are few and far between. We don’t have more than a handful of examples linking an official to a player or a team in a negative fashion, and I think that speaks volumes about the kind of training referees enjoy before getting to the NHL level. More than anything else, the NHL – all sports leagues, for that matter – work to protect their product against these scathing allegations. The credibility of the game must be preserved, and any thought or effort to submarine it generally ends in an official being pushed out of the league.  

What I do find problematic is that referees, collectively, seem to prioritize balancing the power of a game above all else. This obviously conflicts with their actual priority, which is to observe penalties and call them accordingly.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Linesman Don Henderson Not Doing So Well After Hit From Dennis Wideman

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

More than three weeks after being rocked by a Dennis Wideman crosscheck, the Calgary Sun has learned linesman Don Henderson is still battling concussion symptoms that threaten to end his season.

As if there weren’t enough issues for the arbitrator to consider as part of Wideman’s suspension appeal, Henderson’s injuries sustained in the Jan. 27 collision with the Flames defenceman still have the 47-year-old official unable to start exercising at all.

“He still can’t do anything because he hasn’t gone two days symptom-free,” said a source familiar with Henderson’s back pain and concussion struggles since the collision that earned Wideman a 20-game suspension.

“I don’t think he’s coming back anytime soon, if at all.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dennis+wideman, don+henderson

Discussing Goalie Interference

from Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune,

Before this season, officials had to rule interference on the ice and could not consult replay. If you ask Quenneville, the new process is not going well.

"It has gone to a different level," Quenneville said. "I don't know the rules anymore or something has changed. … I think everybody has an interpretation, what's a good goal, what's a bad goal. But I can't believe it."

Quenneville did not stick around to elaborate on his point.

But it seems Quenneville was trying to say the seven sections in the NHL's Rule 69, which covers interference, is not ironclad in its current state. The lengthy explanation describes a number of scenarios in which a player could interfere with a goaltender.

But now that interference is a reviewable call it has muddied the waters, much like replay review in the NFL has caused controversy over what constitutes a catch or an incomplete pass. What may seem like a good goal to the naked eye can become interference when a play is slowed down with every instance of contact displayed frame by frame on video.

According to the rule, any contact with a goaltender in the crease will result in a disallowed goal, as will intentional contact when he is outside the crease.

But it is not cut and dry. Incidental contact can be allowed when the goaltender is outside the crease and when he is inside the crease during a rebound or loose puck situation. But just what constitutes incidental contact?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Few Tough Years For Paul Stewart

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Of the 12 names that were added to the NHL’s concussion lawsuit yesterday, the one that stands out the most is that of Paul Stewart, the first American in history to make it to the NHL as both a player and a referee. According the lawsuit, one of the more gregarious and easy-going personalities in the game, Stewart now suffers from depressive and anxiety disorders, anger, impulse and temper control issues and a loss of memory.

And more importantly, Stewart also has had a brain tumor. Last April, Stewart had a golf-ball sized benign tumor removed from his brain at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He had spent much of the previous three seasons in Russia as a judicial and discipline consultant to the KHL. “When I got home from Russia, I promise you, things were not pleasant,” says Stewart, who turns 62 next month. “At first I thought it was because I was gone so long. I’m better since the surgery, but every day I really have to work at it.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+stewart

Suspensions, The Senators And More

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- The Department of Player Safety has become the NHL’s Fail Safe Operation, as six of the past eight suspensions and eight of 15 overall levied by the league this year have been assessed for plays on which no penalties were called by the game referees. And major penalties were assessed in only four of the incidents.

Perhaps the Board of Governors could ask Stephen Walkom for an explanation before giving the league’s VP of Officiating a standing ovation next time.

-So it seems as if Rough Rider Paul MacLean wasn’t the problem any more than original Devil Dave Cameron is the solution to the deteriorating and toxic situation in Ottawa.

Apparently the Senators don’t have quite enough Hamburglar Helpers.

- The question isn’t whether the Jackets are seeking to deal Fedor Tyutin, it is whether ownership will eat half of the $9 million remaining on the former Rangers defenseman’s contract over the next two years in order to get it done.

read on for more including time to put an end to fighting...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Reviewing The Offside Challenge

from Gary Lawless of TSN,

A big part of the issue is the NHL doesn’t have a direct feed for offside challenges and must rely on the network broadcast and replays to make their decision.
So what you’re watching at home, that’s what the linesmen are looking at from their vantage point in the penalty box. You have the luxury of a 60-inch plasma screen at home and you often get replays of the play prior to an official challenge.

So the linesmen have fewer looks on an inferior screen. The viewer at home has better info than the official making the decision.

Linesman, and hockey ops in Toronto for that matter, have to wait for the TV show to collect replays and different angles and then relay them to the viewers which in these cases includes the decision makers. It’s awkward and needs to be made more efficient.

The NHL has direct feeds to hockey operations from both net and overhead cameras which they use for goalie interference and puck over the goal-line challenges. They don’t have to wait or rely on the networks. So it’s quicker and more definitive.

There’s been talk of installing blue line cameras with a direct feed to hockey ops but it hasn’t happened yet so there’s a disparity in technology for offside reviews which can become apparent in the application.

Offside challenges were expected to be rare but that hasn’t been the case.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Get The On Ice Calls Right

from Dave Hodge of TSN,

"Thumbs down" to what amounts to a rather large disconnect between NHL referees and the league's Department of Player Safety. The Washington Capitals are playing without two forwards, who were both recently suspended for acts that bothered NHL officials in the video room more than they did the refs on the ice. Zach Sill was given a two-game suspension for boarding and injuring Boston's Adam McQuaid, while Marcus Johansson will be out for two games after hitting Thomas Hickey of the Islanders in the head.

Sill received no penalty for hitting McQuaid at the time and Johansson sat in the penalty box for two minutes. The league's decision to suspend Johansson was a clear message that a minor penalty wasn't sufficient punishment.

So, there are a few things wrong here.

According to the league, the refs aren't making the proper calls. Corrections made after the fact do nothing to satisfy the teams that deserved better during the game.

Where video review and coach challenges are concerned, it's all about transparency and getting the calls right, but that's not the case with penalty calls. It should be.

continued plus a look at the Johansen/Jones trade...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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