Lack of officiating consistency
I have been a fan of the NHL since 1990. However, I am questioning my commitment to the league because of deplorable officiating. During the 10 years of clutch and grab hockey, the officiating, for the most part, was consistent. You knew that only the most egregious infractions were going to be called because refs did not bother to call borderline infractions. In this year’s rendition of the NHL, one does not know what the refs are going to be like from game to game. The prime example was last night’s game between Montreal and Toronto.
The calls that were made in that game and the calls that were not made really got on my nerves. The penalty given to Steve Begin on Tie Domi was not an infraction. It was two players that were fighting for the puck and no penalty needed to be called. Unfortunately, for the Habs, the penalty resulted in a Jeff O’Neill goal. In addition, the penalty given to Rivet when time expired should not have been called because he did not show any intent to trip Antropov. He was going for the puck. Unfortunately, again, this call resulted in Sundin’s game winning goal. The only penalty that should be called without due consideration for intent is high sticking. Furthermore, there were many penalties that were not called, on both sides, during the third period and the ref decided to call something when time expired. Just stupid!!! There were, moreover, some strange non-calls during the game. The disallowed Markov goal really perplexed me. It was a goal and Belfour was interfered with by his own player and not Markov. And Markov did not kick that puck into the net so that cannot be the reason it was called off. Indeed, the Toronto players appeared to be resigned to the fact that it was a goal. The non-call of the hit-from-behind on Riberio also got on my nerves.
What I conclude from this is that their needs to be greater accountability in the officiating ranks. The quality of the officials is also something that needs to be questioned and improved as expeditiously as possitble. As a fan, the one thing that I want to see is consistency in applying the rules of the game. It appears that that has gone out the window this year. Whenever I watch a game this year, I am totally dumbfounded about the apllication of the rules in any given game.