Thursday, April 20, 2006


TSN Headline:

Bettman: Refs will make calls, or else

I'm not sure how concerned I should be about this. Against anyone besides Detroit, a parade to the box doesn't really affect the Flames chances one way or the other (by the numbers, they have a marginal special teams advantage over the Ducks).

My concern, such as it is, respects where exactly the league's and Bettman's priorities are. The goal, I certainly hope, is to have the best-officiated games possible; exciting games, where both skill and force-of-will are rewarded. This should be the criterion on which playoff officiating is evaluated.

Unfortunately, Bettman makes it sound in this article like the criteria will be:
(A) Does the # of penalties called (per game) remain consistent with the # in the regular season, AND/OR
(B) Does goalscoring (per game) remain consistent with the figures from the regular season

For some people, not the least of which will be the fans and media of losing teams, they will indeed look to those statistics, and if either or both numbers are down, claim that the league's reputation is once again shot, etc.

That'd be a shame. The league's primary, if not only, concern should be facilitating the most entertaining and intense games possible. For all the people who complain that the refs put the whistle away in the playoffs, and that it's just a clutch-and-grab show, the NHL playoffs are still pretty damn popular among hockey fans. Here's hoping...

[P.S. Again, I'm not saying that they should throw the obstruction crackdown into the trash. But I would be darn happy if the refs (A) used "no harm, no foul" discretion, and (B) were sure of infractions before whistling, as opposed to calling something every time a guy falls down anywhere near an opponent's stick. The standard would be no more convoluted or discretionary than it it now.]


No doubt. The Oil will need to be physical against Detroit to have a chance.

If the refs are hyper-sensitive and start calling everything then methinks Detroit is going to steamroller Edmonton.

Like you, I don't want the whistle put away, but I do want those soft old-timers to actually have to make an effort to fight through traffic.

And if they make a call on Yzerman, they better make it on LeGG -- who gets mugged more than anyone in the league with no calls.

the NHL playoffs are still pretty damn popular among hockey fans

Grammar Slammer Bammer!!!

Oh, and that isn't an argument. I suppose you are trying to say that the NHL shouldn't alienate its core base, but the whole point is that currently six people in the United States are hockey fans. I'm not saying the league should do whatever it can to satisfy the Yanks, but the game shouldn't be rugby on ice, either.

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