Officials Officially Stink

Besides the ridiculous game suspensions handed out recently, the officials on the ice temselves are ruining the games.“Is that a penalty? Should I really call it? Well, they do need a Powerplay so I think it was.”

“My God, was that a slash, but I better not call it, too many penalties handed out then.”

“Should I count that as a penalty shot? No…I don’t want to ruin this game”

It is a joke that with two referees on the ice, they make bad calls. What are these guys seeing? What is their eye vision? Do they need glasses? Or should the be replaced?

How many times do we hockey fans watch such an exciting game, where both teams are playing up to the extreme of greatness, and in the last minutes, the referee calls a penalty that should not have been called, and ruins the game for some fans? It happens so many times, and I can give such a good example.

I was watching one of the most exciting games of the start of the season between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils, and the officials just ruin the game. This game was so significant because of Lindros vs Stevens, and the Rangers rivalry with the Devils, and so on. These two teams played the game as if it was a playoff game. Hard checks, great goals, and the goaltending would have let everyone with their mouths open asking themselves “How did he save that?” The first two periods of the game were going just fine, and the Rangers had a good 3-1 lead. In the 3rd period however, the officials almost ruined the game.

I think that hockey players should stop the stunts of falling and drawing penalties because this is not soccer. When Nedved layed his stick on Sykora’s arm, Sykora took one heck of a dive, when Nedved’s stick was not even holding him or pulling him, it was just laying on Sykora’s arm. It was such an obvious dive that no one even bothered reacting to it, but one referee did. Nedved’s stick was laying on Sykora’s arm, and as Sykora was falling the stick hit his face. So, it was not even close to be a holding penalty, yet it was called that way. The funny thing is that the referee was standing right infront of these two, behind the play. At that time, the Rangers had a 3-2 lead, and because of that ridiculous call, the Devils tied it at 3. Now, this game could have finished 7-1 for the Rangers if Brodeur and his posts were not present. And, it could have been a 7-1 win for the Devils if Richter was not in net. That is how well these two goalies played, they were amazing. After the tying PP goal, the Ranger player had possession of the puck along the boards, and as a Devils player pressured him, the puck was poked almost over the blue line, BUT the linesman was starring at the puck as it hit his skates. The funny thing was that the linesman moved his skate forward which directed the puck to a Devils player to have a scoring chance that could have won them the game. In overtime, Nedved made Sykora pay back. Samething happened. The stick of Sykora barely touched Nedved, and Nedved drew a Powerplay which led to the game winning goal. So, Sykora paid the price for it.

My point is here, that the officials could have ruined the game. The linesman and the referees are just making the mistakes which lead to ruining a game. That game should have ended 3-2 without the ridiculous calls. It is a pity because Brodeur did not deserve to have 4 goals against. He made some incredible saves. He is the reason why the Devils earned the one point on the standings tonight, as they still remain 0-4-0-1. Richter did not deserve to have 3 goals against. Richter washed up? Forty Six saves. He owned the Devils in the 2nd period. I had a deja vu of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals between Brodeur and Richter. They were fantastic, more than just amazing.

I hope the officials of the NHL start improving because so far they had been making so many, or actually too many, mistakes that could ruin an exciting game. I thought of something for this situation and I would like your opinion on it. How about giving permission to the linesmen to disallow a wrong call whistled by the referee? What do you think, or do you have any ideas?

Micki Peroni

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