I wanted to thank Sharon for her lyrical post from April Fools Day of 2007. She gives the refs a piece of her mind and maybe a bit more. Time to take a closer look.
NHL Referees are a touchy issue for most fans.
I think more-so the last couple seasons than ever before.
I'm certain there's not a fan out there who likes
Watching a game that is being referee decided, might I
Be so bold as to say, even if their team is winning.
Because sure the calls might be going for your team that
Game, but soon enough they will play a game in which the
Calls go the other way.
And I'd bet that most fans would rather see a Fair win or lose
For their team.
Now yes, the new NHL is a fast paced game, and yes..it's
Hard to clearly see everything that happens on the ice.
What might be perceived a penalty from one angle, might not
Be an *actual* penalty from another angle.
And it's not limited to just penalties, not review-able calls
Of *no goals* is another thing.
Now I'm not sure what makes one goal review-able, and what makes
Another goal NOT review-able. But ALL goals should be review-able.
One instance that sticks out in my mind..Edmonton was Robbed
Of a late game goal, seconds left in the game, because the Ref
Waved it off as a *hand pass* from the face off circle back
To the point. The goal was never reviewed, it was waved off,
Edmonton lost the chance to tie up the game, and go to OT.
However, the video footage WAS reviewed by the folks doing
The camera work at Rexall Place, and it was Clear, It was
Beyond a shadow of a doubt totally 100% conclusive it was
NOT a hand pass back to the point.
However, the Ref...from an angle he could not clearly see
The puck, waved it off anyway.
Calls like that infuriate me, and pretty much all fans.
That ref had the fans letting him know he'd screwed up
After the game. and I don't blame the fans.
But the question is, What's fair? what can be done about this?
I understand the Refs have a tough job, I understand they
Are getting used to new rules, etc..etc.
But that should NOT make them unaccountable for bad calls,
Especially when it's not a problem with just one or two refs.
This is a league wide problem.
In the last two seasons, since the lockout, I don't even want
To think how many games league wide have been Ref decided.
The players can't do anything about it, and it has GOT to be
Frustrating as all heck to be a player in a game like that,
And the coaches can't do anything about it either.
God help them if they do, they'll get tagged for an unsportsmanlike,
Or fined after wards.
This leaves the team, coach and fans feeling powerless.
I don't know if there is ever going to be a fair solution that
Satisfies everyone. I seriously doubt it because human error will
Always come into play.
And maybe this is a far fetched solution, I don't know..
But if questionable goals can be reviewed, why not questionable
Penalties, non calls, or inconsistencies? at least then..the game
Wouldn't be left to just the refs on the ice.
Or Hell...Even just having another ref or two viewing the game
From a broadcasters booth or something, someone who can
Give a different view/perspective of what took place.
This is a big problem, and in my mind, it's a crime to let it
Continue as it is. It hasn't gotten better since last season either.
The only real difference I've seen between then and now..is that some
Refs are more relaxed and content to let two teams just play.
I'd rather have very few calls for either team, and win or lose fair
And square, than a game full of questionable calls that run in one teams favor, even if
It's my team.