The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

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The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby ClamRussel » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:23 pm

Wow...just so Canucks fans don't feel it just happens to them I thought I'd bring a couple of events that happened today to light.

First of all....Jake McCabe lays out a very solid and very clean bodycheck to Paille. Paille chips the puck past McCabe, is stood up, no hit to the head, not late at all (well within the one second allowable). McCabe didn't even run him, just stood his ground. Paille looks like he hit an open ice brick wall and falls backwards stunned...and probably hits his head pretty good on the ice. He has to be helped off the ice.

5 min major for interference and a game misconduct to McCabe.

Ok, I guess we no longer allow hitting in the NHL. Its now going to be known as flag hockey or touch shinny. Holy shit, I know we don't want to see players get hurt but its going to happen from time to time. This is supposed to be a rough game. If McCabe gets suspended for this I'll puke.

Secondly, Letang returns from his stroke tonight and while fishing for the puck after a toe-drag Hartnell decides to cross check his head off. Letang gets up w/ a slash, Hartnell spears him in the mid section and a bunch of slashing & punching ensues.

Both players get 2 min each for "roughing."

How does Hartnell not get an additional penalty for the cross check that started this all? IF the NHL really wants to get rid of head shots how did Hartnell not get a 5 + a game for this? Letang is a player w/ some concussion issues, I imagine he doesn't like getting the lumber to this lid FROM BEHIND. Think of all the stupid Shanahan suspensions like Hansen hopping up to glove a puck....and then stuff like this happens. No penalty. Certainly no suspension. Why, because Letang has more balls than Hossa? Thats just one of a plethora of examples that could be used.

The bottom line is there is no consistency in how the NHL handles on or off ice officiating and its no wonder the players don't know where the ever-moving-line is drawn. It changes from team to team and player to player.

Does McCabe get the book thrown at him because he's a no-name player on the 30th overall team and you can't finish your checks against the league's beloved and protected Boston Angels? ...or is that really the type of his the NHL is trying to get rid of (but high cross checks from behind are totally ok)?
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby ClamRussel » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:26 pm

Don't have the Hartnell incident but here's the McCabe hit and the emancipation of the body checkers.



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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Strangelove » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:57 pm

ClamRussel wrote:Ok, I guess we no longer allow hitting in the NHL.


Shanny was not able to clean up the mess that is NHL-officiating/discipline.

So now he'll move on and try to clean up the mess that is the Pigtown Leaves. :mrgreen:

As I keep saying, you've got to laugh or cry when it comes to NHL-officiating/discipline

.... and I think it's much more fun/healthy to laugh!

Maybe they hire Kerry Fraser to straighten this mess out next season.

But until then... :lol:
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Hockey Widow » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:38 pm

Looked like a clean hit to me. An interference call. Reminiscent of the Rome hit on Horton. The body contact was deemed legal but the refs wanted to call something so they called interference. I hope whoever replaces Shanny does a much better and more consistent job.
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby okcanuck » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:24 pm

The officiating in the NHL is a f----ing joke.

Buttman has a real problem here, but he's so incompetent he doesn't even realize it. He is the cause of this whole mess, it's come to the point where real hockey fans ,like me, can'teven watch the game

There was absolutely nothing wrong with that hit not even interference.

Solve this problem Buttman or your league will lose what little credibility it has left.
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Lancer » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:07 pm

okcanuck wrote: Buttman has a real problem here, but he's so incompetent he doesn't even realize it.


Oh he's well aware of it, and considering who profits from this 'problem' I don't think he sees a problem at all.

okcanuck wrote:Solve this problem Buttman or your league will lose what little credibility it has left.


You're assuming he has much credibility left outside the league. He enjoys the faith of the owners after the last lockout, and that's all that matters to him. Considering how they still managed a shortened season and the way fans came back in droves, there's no need to clean up the shitty officiating that invites speculation of unethical motivation and manipulation by the league. The only time the officials called the game better was after the 2004 lockout, at which point the game had to be sold to win back the fans but now the league is past that as we see now.

Vince McMahon would be proud... :bang:
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Topper » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:10 pm

Is this the consistency you are advocating Clam?

A 2min "boarding" penalty is hardly looking after the (star) players.


A league and officials who call the play and penalties differently for and against "star" players.

I ask because you Clam, yes you, wrote the above quote.

Consistency you say? Separate rule book for star players you say? WTH you say?
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby ClamRussel » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:05 am

I'm almost starting to feel sorry for you.
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Zedlee » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:44 am

Nothing at all wrong with that hit. A 5 minute major? Ridiculous...they blew the call. Clean hit.
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Topper » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:13 am

Be careful what you ask for.

It is clear that NHL Officials are asked to manage the game, or in Kerry Fraser's parlance, "take the temperature of the game".

We have all watched and enjoyed fast hard hitting games with continuous action where the Officials allow a certain degree of interference/roughing/cross checking/boarding. A face wash post whistle becomes standard for the game. Commentators revel in the "playoff atmosphere" of these games. Penalties are rare but called on overly blatant ones involving a scoring chance.

Contrast that with something like the Canucks-Flames game to finish the season. Westgarth gets 2 minutes for skating for too long towards the Vancouver net after a whistle. the Officials call it two minutes for roughing, but essentially it is two minutes for being a jerkKevin Westgarth. The Official was setting the tone for the game. The last game of the season between two rivals but non playoff teams with nothing to gain or loose.

Flames fans were incensed by the call, more so when Vancouver capitalised on their power play. This was however a case of the Officials managing the game. A message to both benches that post whistle nonsense was not going to be tolerated or allowed to escalate.

I have little issue with allowing the Officials to manage a game this way. What it means is that a penalty in one game may not be one the next game. Inconsistency will happen. Players and coaches are smart enough to know how the night will go and play accordingly.

There are rare occasions where Officials or teams misread the game management and things get ugly. There is room for Officials and teams to learn from that.

The alternative to is a black and white interpretation of the rule book that will destroy the flow of the game.

Worse, is the increasing judgmental calls Officials are asked to make. This is no truer than when it comes to intent.

Clam loves to howl about this siting the non call on an intended elbow to Henrik Sedin, but then he equally howls about one of Shanahan's worst calls, the Hansen suspension.

Shanahan makes a judgment call of Hansen's intent. In his ruling, Shanahan reads the split second closing of the hand and extension of the arm as Jannick's intent to clobber Marian Hossa's head.

I'll happily live with some inconsistency and allow the Officials to continue to manage the game over a black and white interpretation of the rule book.

I suggest folks read the excellent series Peter King wrote on his MMQB site on NFL Officials where he was allowed to follow a crew through a week and detailed their evaluation of the previous game, grading by the league office, preparation for the next game and officiating that game. Some great insight in how the NFL manages their Officials and how Officials manage the games.

I wouldn't be surprised if the NHL model is similar in some ways but on a much more condensed format because of the schedule. It would be an interesting and transparent thing for the NHL to allow a story story similar to Peter King's.
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby ClamRussel » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:45 am

5+game (interference) for McCabe's clean hit.

2min interference (no suspension) for this headshot:
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Art Vandelay » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:02 pm

The NHL officials are a cunt hair above the CFL officials. One pawns itself off as a major sport while the other knows its a glorified beer league with the top players pulling down firemen and policemen wages. Something doesn't add up to the smell test here.
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby ClamRussel » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:14 pm

Compare this one to the no-suspension head shot on Burrows above.
Here Torres got the boot for the rest of the 2nd round. Shanahan explains it almost exactly the same as he does w/ the Niederreiter hit (admits Torres hits the shoulder as principal point of contact etc, just like the hit on Burrows). Pretty much the same angle, same hit.

Image




Kerry Fraser's take: http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/kerry_fraser/?id=447522

This guy should be running the suspensions, not a bunch of ex-players who took one too many head shots themselves.
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Island Nucklehead » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:34 pm

Posting again for emphasis:

2 Minute Playoff Penalty:
Image

2 Minute Playoff Penalty:
Image


Yeah.... consistently garbage.
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Re: The (in)Consistency of NHL Officiating [aka WTH?!?]

Postby Meds » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:59 am

Topper wrote:Be careful what you ask for.

It is clear that NHL Officials are asked to manage the game, or in Kerry Fraser's parlance, "take the temperature of the game".

We have all watched and enjoyed fast hard hitting games with continuous action where the Officials allow a certain degree of interference/roughing/cross checking/boarding. A face wash post whistle becomes standard for the game. Commentators revel in the "playoff atmosphere" of these games. Penalties are rare but called on overly blatant ones involving a scoring chance.

Contrast that with something like the Canucks-Flames game to finish the season. Westgarth gets 2 minutes for skating for too long towards the Vancouver net after a whistle. the Officials call it two minutes for roughing, but essentially it is two minutes for being a jerkKevin Westgarth. The Official was setting the tone for the game. The last game of the season between two rivals but non playoff teams with nothing to gain or loose.

Flames fans were incensed by the call, more so when Vancouver capitalised on their power play. This was however a case of the Officials managing the game. A message to both benches that post whistle nonsense was not going to be tolerated or allowed to escalate.

I have little issue with allowing the Officials to manage a game this way. What it means is that a penalty in one game may not be one the next game. Inconsistency will happen. Players and coaches are smart enough to know how the night will go and play accordingly....


The "management" by the officials that you are talking about here is the kind that belongs in the game and on the ice. That kind of message sending to the teams is important when it comes to preventing stupidity on the part of players and coaches.....the kind of stupidity that leads to dirty hits and injuries late in a game. Particularly games that mean jack shit. But I would suggest that it is equally as important to "manage" the game in this way regardless of the gravity of the individual contest.

I would argue that sending the message to just one team, the way they did to Westgarth, is perhaps a poor way to do it. As an official, give coincidentals for a nothing incident, go to the benches and warn both teams that next time you'll take just one and award a PP. This eliminates the possibility of one team scoring a PP goal on a man advantage that was really unwarranted. If the coaches and players want to test the ref's resolve, so be it, hand out a single penalty to prove your point.

The "howling over non-calls" that occurs is rarely the result of any inconsistency in the above "game management" on the part of the officiating crew. It is the inconsistency of the obstruction calls, the interference, holding, slashing, tripping, boarding, charging, and goaltender interference. These are rules that the officiating crew seems to enforce in what can only be considered a haphazard fashion at times. The game to game inconsistencies can be excused when you are dealing with different officiating crews from night to night, however, what one ref calls a penalty in the first 10 minutes should still be called a penalty in the last 10 minutes of the same game. Granted, in a game that is as fast paced as the NHL is, there will invariably be calls that are simply missed due to human error and the fact that the referee's are outnumbered 5 to 1 (linesman not included). This leads to the argument for off-ice officials.

In my opinion there is absolutely no reason for the league not to adopt a "coach's challenge" as well as a pair of off-ice officials. The challenge argument stands for itself, but instead of being charged a timeout just go the route of the delay-of-game penalty that is assessed when a team challenges whether or not a player is using a stick with an illegal curve (if that's even still around). The off-ice official argument has always been dismissed as being something that would slow down the pace of the game. This is simply not the case. I think that Milan Lucic made a very good case for the need for a referee to be off the ice, and watching things more closely with the advantage of replay, when he speared DeKeyser in the nuts in game one. That was a penalty that absolutely should have been called, in fact I think it should have been 5 and a game according to rules 62.3 and 62.5, but it was also a case where the officiating crew is absolutely excused for missing the call as it was behind the play and took place in about half of a second. In this case an off-ice official would have seen it and made the appropriate ruling. I also don't think that off-ice officials would slow the game down at all if the system were in place where these officials were only there to enforce calls like this, infractions of a dangerous nature that were behind the play or simply missed, or penalties behind the play that directly effected a scoring play. These officials would also not have a whistle, they would simply be assessing the penalties at the next normal stoppage in play and, as long as that stoppage was not a goal being scored by the offending team, play would continue from the same clock-time as the normal stoppage in question.

The other "howling" is simply the inconsistency in the suspensions and discipline that is handed down to players after the fact. 8 games to Kassian for "reckless swinging of his stick" as he went for a hit and did a spin stop on the boards that every player makes.....1 game for Keith when he intentionally swung his stick at Jeff Carter's head in a retaliatory move.....5 games for Keith when he threw a flying elbow and Daniel and knocked him out for the remainder of the regular season and first few games of the first round of the playoffs.....1 game for Giroux for an obviously intentional shoulder to the head of Zubrus.....1 game for Backstrom for a calculated and intentional crosscheck to the head of Rich Peverley.....1 game for Klesla after he grabs the back of Halischuk's jersey and then throws him head first into the boards.....0 games to Lucic for running Miller.....3 games for Shaw for his "hit" on Mike Smith.....1 game to James Neal for 2 hits on Coutourier and Giroux.....0 games for Weber for grabbing Zetterberg's head and slamming it into the glass.....

Those are just a few of the reasons that fans "howl".....those aren't on-ice problems or "game management" that's league management that makes no sense.
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