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Fraser: not all referees simply ‘let ‘em play’ during overtime

TSN's Kerry Fraser discusses whether referees possess a "let 'em play" mentality during overtime, pondering the usefulness of the philosophy in a column recalling his experiences as the referee for Game 3 of the 1989 Stanley Cup Final between Montreal and Calgary--which was settled in double overtime:

The second overtime period started hard and fast on fresh ice as each team tried their best to end it early. Midway through this period, another pair of coincidental minor penalties resulted when [Al] MacInnis and Bob Gainey were guilty of high-sticking one another. Not that I was looking for one but a clear-cut, stand-alone penalty had not yet materialized for me to raise my arm. That changed with 3:52 remaining in the second overtime period.

Corson receive the puck in a stationary position three feet or so from the boards inside his blue line. He looked up ice and passed the puck to a teammate in the neutral zone but remained frozen facing the boards. Mark Hunter of the Flames continued on a direct route from some distance and with speed after Corson had released the puck. I vividly remember my conscious thought process as my mind spoke the words, 'Hunts' veer off, don't hit him, veer off, don't... oh s&*t!'

I defied conventional wisdom and raised my arm as Hunter struck Corson directly from behind and launched the Habs forward headfirst into the boards. The boarding call to Hunter was the first stand-alone penalty that resulted in a power play in that game since Rob Ramage (Cgy) had taken a holding penalty at 16:08 of the second period of regulation. Hunter's penalty expired at 16:08 of double overtime, which is the exact time on the clock that Ryan Walter jammed the winning goal past Mike Vernon with an assist from Stephane Richer. The Flames fanned in my direction.

Fraser continues and discusses some of the calls and non-calls during last night's triple OT affair between Chicago and Boston.

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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.

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