Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Talk

Let The Refs Control The Game

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

When in doubt, blame the ref.

It’s a system as old as the games we watch. Players, coaches, fans, media critics and even league officials get into the act and the only rule is that the referee is always wrong in the eyes of someone, somewhere.

And the number of eyes on the ref has multiplied exponentially in the age of replay review — reviews that are, in my humble opinion, wrecking the entire experience.

Even with the mind-numbing review delays, the NHL is enduring a post-season nightmare, a litany of gaffes. When league execs are taking pot-shots at their own referees, you have the very definition of a mess.

Key goals that should count are disallowed. Goals that should be waved off are allowed. Phantom penalties are called, real penalties are missed. Games are decided not by the players on the ice but by referees and anonymous war-room geeks.

What to do, what to do?

The solution may seem counter-intuitive but it’s there: Give the referees the power they once had to officiate the game. There was a time, before the two-referee system and that utterly inept war room in Toronto, when a single referee ran the game he officiated.

continued

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Afternoon Line- Larry Brooks

The answer to this officiating mess that has been a long time coming is not to dramatically expand video review, but to dramatically improve the performance of the referees and linesmen working the games. It is to provide them with better direction, perhaps a new protocol. It is to revamp the officiating department, and that means starting at the top.

-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on this topic, plus a few additional notes.

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Video- Brian Burke On The Hand Pass

Good ideas and information from Brian Burke, including a rarely used rule plus other topics.

via Sportsnet,

Brian Burke talks about controversial goal calls, John Davidson becoming President of the Rangers, and shares a Brett Hull story.

 

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Video- A Look At NHL Referee Wes McCauley

Great feature!

via Sportsnet,

Watch as Sportsnet’s Chris Simpson talks with Wes McCauley, known for his dramatic calls and great relationship with players, inspired to have a career in officiating thanks to his father.

 

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  Tags: wes+mccauley

Suggested Changes To The Game

from Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic,

Please note that I’m not suggesting to make every single change listed here, especially as some would be unnecessary and/or over the top in conjunction with others, nor am I saying that these changes should be implemented without any testing whatsoever.

- No offsides (on zone entries)

Those who have followed me for a while know I’ve been a staunch supporter of the End Offsides movement. If it’s a no to 4-on-4 hockey (having both would be overkill), then the next best solution toward freeing up space is allowing players to enter the zone freely without the puck. Again, I’ve written about this before for The Hockey News, and I think the positives far outweigh the drawbacks. Offside was created in 1930 to counter the forward pass, but all it does now is clog up the neutral zone (something no one but the coaches like watching) and limit offence. It hinders creativity, and taking it out would give players much more space with the puck. It’s an archaic rule that serves no beneficial purpose to the modern NHL.

- Penalty adjustments

Something that’s always bothered me is penalty severity. I’m not sure how the NHL came up with two minutes, four minutes and then, for some reason, five minutes. What’s the logic behind those three numbers specifically? My proposed adjustment goes well with calling the rulebook and allows referees to manage games to their discretion while actually making calls. Introducing a one-minute and a three-minute penalty would give referees an option from one minute all the way to five on the severity of a call. Maybe a ticky-tack slash doesn’t deserve a full two, but it was a slash, so why not give it a one-minute infraction? See a call that’s worse than your average penalty but not worth a major, why not give it three or four instead? With this system, there are no more minors or majors or double minors, it’s just a penalty based on severity according to the referee. I hesitate to give them that power, but I believe it would be a reasonable compromise. You ask them to be strict rule enforcers but also allow them more options to dictate the punishment length.

more (paid) on the second topic and 13 other suggestions...

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Videos- Get The Call Right

via Sportsnet,

The Hockey Night panel takes a look at the missed call leading to the Sharks' overtime winner against the Blues, and how these mishaps and be avoided.

 

 

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Continue Reading »

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Morning Line- Kevin Allen

It’s no longer a question of whether the NHL should look at how the game is officiated. The question is: How could they not?

This year’s Stanley Cup playoffs has provided overwhelming evidence that significant changes are required.

What happened Wednesday, when the San Jose Sharks scored an overtime goal on a play that should’ve been blown dead on a hand pass, shows this is a five-alarm problem. That play (a hand pass) leading up to the goal is not on the list of reasons why a goal can be reviewed.

There have been far too many officiating misses or incorrect calls, too many teams suffering, too much NHL embarrassment.

-Kevin Allen of USA TODAY where you can read more on this topic.

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Get Everything Right Or Eliminate Offside Challenges

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

When the Sharks needed a botched call to advance in Game 7 of the first round against Vegas, they got it. (Yes, they needed four power-play goals, too, but that’s a mere detail.) When they needed a letter-of-the-law reversal on an offside challenge to maintain the lead in Game 7 against Colorado, they got it. This round: a critical goaltender interference review to complete the trifecta. And then maybe San Jose will score one off a ricochet off the netting in the finals.

 

There is little both more stupid and more unpopular in the sport than what the offside challenge has become, the latest evidence being the letter-of-the-law reversal of an Avalanche goal because of Gabriel Landeskog’s idleness by the bench in Game 7.

If it is about getting it right, what about the dozens of offside violations that occur every night but are unnoticed or undocumented because goals did not immediately follow?

Yet as long as Bettman stands in support of it, the league GMs won’t have the brass to recommend elimination of the offside challenge.

more topics...

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How About A Lottery For Playoff Seedings

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

So, why not a lottery to determine first-round matchups?

Every league loves a TV event, and what would be better than another bounce of the ping-pong balls on the final Sunday of the season? A ratings bonanza, for sure, across Canada and the 24 NHL-loving cities of the US.

Does it run contrary to the tried-and-true current system? Of course. But what’s the point of tried-and-true when the four best teams are all melting ice at the end of Round 1? If a lottery produced the same outcomes, well, it’s no worse than the 0 for 4 tried-and-true. At least there would be some suspense, hand in hand with some fun programming.

For the sake of discussion, keep the regular-season chase the same, and even lock in Round 1 home ice for the four division winners.

Beyond that, make the matchups a scramble, even to the point that home ice for the other four series isn’t automatically awarded to the team that would have earned it on the outcome of the regular-seasons standings.

more and other topics too...

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Afternoon Line- Michael Traikos

There’s no consistency to the calls. At times, it seems as though there’s no logic.

What looks like a penalty one night is not called the next. No one knows what goalie interference is, what an offside is, what a hit to the head is. Some nights, the whistles are put away. On other nights, it seems as though the referees are inventing new ways in which to send players to the penalty box.

And it’s affecting not only the outcome of the games — but of the entire playoffs.

-Michael Traikos of the National Post where you can read more on officiating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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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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