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Video: PHT Extra — Does the NHL have an officiating problem?

May 22, 2013, 8:20 PM EDT

There has been no shortage of players and coaches complaining about about some of the calls NHL referees have made during the 2013 postseason. Is that just to be expected as people vent and perhaps participate in a bit of gamesmanship or is this a significant problem that needs addressing?

Additionally, is this a question of just some controversial calls or is it also a matter of consistency too? And if it’s both, what can be done to fix it?

Mike Halford and Jason Brough tackled those questions in the latest edition of PHT Extra:

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Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating?

  1. pens5829 - May 22, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    NHL statement: No problems with officiating. We’re just trying to extend series so we can make up lost money from the lockout.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - May 22, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      Except for some stuff they’ve let go in overtimes, the refs have been really attentive this postseason. Not an easy job.

      The refs deserve a couple of stick taps thus far.

      • kyzslew77 - May 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Stick taps to the balls, maybe.

  2. dolanster - May 22, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Yes. They have a problem. They need less referee ego and more huddles. Make up calls suck. Video should be used to determine all goals where there is any question. It’s a tough job, but they are getting worse, not better.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 22, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      That’s a great point, probably why the NHL already reviews every goal. Honestly, the complaints come from people like you who don’t take the time to learn what already happens.

      • dolanster - May 23, 2013 at 3:11 AM

        They don’t allow the video to overrule the call on the ice re: every goal — for instance goaltender interference, often obvious on the replay, must be called live, which is ridiculous. Ditto obvious offsides. Stupid limitations.

  3. taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Not from the NHL’s point of view. They act in lockstep with the profiteers SOP. NHL= WWE.

  4. hsnepsts - May 22, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    NHL seems downright fixed sometimes.
    Whatever the NHL thinks/does, the optics are sh*t.

  5. pens5829 - May 22, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Man that was about as weak a slash call on Matt Cooke at the end of the second period as can be called??? Classic case of “We need to make a call for Ottawa so we’ll just blow the whistle”… And no. Not one roar from the Ottawa fans in the stands until the ref raised his arm. WEAK!!!

    • taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      The above is a product of a clueless fan-base. It was a slash. The PP disparity these playoffs is heavily in favor of the Pens. Yet, this loser is in shock when his team has to go on the PK. Don’t worry, Uncle Bettman will make it alright.

      • pens5829 - May 22, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        Not shocked at all when the Pens go on a PP. Just hate when little girls like you want weak touch penalties. That sh@t happens every play and is never called. Let me guess?

        You’re probably the type that yells and screams when your QB gets touched?

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 23, 2013 at 9:11 AM

        Wait, your saying that you believe the number of PP’s should be equal, regardless of who commits more penalties?

        That doesn’t make sense to me, as a member of a clueless fan-base, but it’s the ONLY way to interpret your comment regarding the PP disparity…can you clarify?

    • loinstache - May 22, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Dude I don’t follow either team but Pitts CLEARLY got away with 2 calls right before that, a too many men and a slash. AND THEN look at the differential in the series. As I type this another PP goal for Pitts (Iginla) so wahh wahh

    • 19to77 - May 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      No weaker than the one on Neil in the third. The refs botched about four stick infractions going both ways by my count. The only one that looked like a legit penalty for either team was Jokinen’s. Cooke’s was weak, Neil’s was weak, every call seemed to somehow get worse.

  6. Stiller43 - May 22, 2013 at 10:00 PM


    It was 21-20 pens vs isles in the first series…not sure what it is this series, but you sure sound like you know. Care to share the facts to back up your clueless opinion?

    • taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      Clueless opinion? You don’t even know what it is this series.

      • 19to77 - May 22, 2013 at 10:21 PM

        Just like you clearly didn’t in the last one. By the way, can’t help but notice you haven’t answered the question – or don’t you know the count either? Go on, prove you’re not talking out your ass.

      • taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        I said this playoffs. You are really dumb. For real. Pens have the PP advantage. I’m just hitting the speed bag…

      • 19to77 - May 22, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        Last series, you imbecile. You’re trying to prove the PP disparity is “heavily in favour” of the Pens. First series power play count was 21-20 for the Penguins, and you’re still avoiding coming up with a number for this one. Come on, what is it? Tell us exactly how heavy this disparity is.

  7. Stiller43 - May 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Correct, and i said that. But i also said what it was in the last series. Since i didnt know for this series, i didnt want to pretend (like you) like i did. Since you STILL didnt share what it was, im assuming you dont know either. So shut the hell up until you do.


    • taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      It’s not my job to inform you…tool. Nevermind the Pens had the advantage the previous series in addition to well timed calls/noncalls in their favor. How’s that for a big glass of STFU?

      • 19to77 - May 22, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        “The Penguins have a heavy power play advantage, but I won’t (can’t) tell you what it actually is.”

      • hockeyflow33 - May 22, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        I wonder if the PP advantage has anything to do with the fact that the Penguins play an all-out offensive style with some of the games best offensive players…..nah couldn’t be that. Go with the conspiracy angle

  8. Stiller43 - May 22, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Lol youre lucky the you can remain anonymous, because if you were this stupid with your actual name behind it…YIKERS

    • taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      I’ve obviously struck a nerve. Cry fat loser. Cry.

  9. Stiller43 - May 22, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Not your job to inform me? But your “informing” us all that the pens have a heavy advantage on the PP…

    Of course, you have absolutely 0 facts to back up your assessment. Since youre “informing” us of the one sided reffing for the pens, you should have the numbers.

    What a jagoff

  10. taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Not only are the PPs in favor of the Penguins,mtheirmopponents only seem to get PP opportunities once the game is utmof reach. For the box score ya know?

    • taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      The pitfalls of mobile. “Their opponents” and “out of reach”.

  11. Stiller43 - May 22, 2013 at 10:51 PM


    If that “fat” thing is towards me, im 6’2″, 185 pounds, and a hockey player,

    Is that all you can resort to? But i guess stating things you obviously have no clue about (you STILL have yet to tell us what the PP #’s are this series) is kinda your niche.

    • taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      Lemme guess, Your girl is a dime piece, you have a ten incher, and you moonlight as a hedge fund manager. And I’m Jay-Z.

      Playing in a pay to play rec league doesn’t make you a “hockey player”. It just makes you a guy attempting to play hockey.

  12. Stiller43 - May 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    I have no gf atm. But “paying to play” is how any hockey player plays, unless your a pro…which uhh NOT MANY are. But since every person not being paid is “attempting to play,” then yeah put me down under that category.

    Sorry, im not gonna make outlandish statement with 0 facts like you do.

  13. crashtheboards55 - May 22, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    The officials in the playoffs have been horrible at best. There has been absolutely zero consistency about what is a penalty and what isn’t. Also, some refs blow the whistle as soon as the puck leaves the stick of a player and others let 8 guys in the crease even though the puck has been gone for 20 minutes. It is very frustrating to watch. Plus making a no call or “just letting them play” through an obvious penalty is still having an impact on the game. It is embarrassing. Just look at Ovechkin in the the NY series. He kills Mcdonagh from behind. One of the worst non boarding calls I have ever seen. I don’t know how you don’t call that. Plus he targeted the head of Girardi 4 times with his elbow, each time leaving his feet. I don’t care if he sells tickets, that stuff needs to stop regardless of who the player is. If its Crosby, Malking Oveckin, Towes, Hossa, Torres, Cooke, etc that stuff needs to end. Consistency is the key and it needs to start now.

    • taintedlombardis - May 22, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      This is rich. A fan of the 5-0 rangers whining about refs. I’m not talking abut game 7, I’m talking abut game 6….

      • crashtheboards55 - May 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM

        Actually I was using the non-calls by Ovechkin as an example of how some players are getting away with everything and others can’t even skate next to someone without a penalty call. The inconsistency in all aspects of the refereeing is what I was getting at. There is no way the refs can miss obvious hits to the head and boarding calls when they are right in front of them. I am a Pens fan by the way. I am also a fan of hockey. I wasn’t whining about anything either genuis. I was talking about obivious penalties that weren’t called and the differences in whistles during play. Pointing out the obivious that Ovechkin leaves his feet on a lot og hits, targets the head and is dirty must have struck a nerve. Dumbass

  14. goal29 - May 23, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    You know…regardless of what theories might be out there about the quality of the officiating in the NHL this season, or any other season – the referee’s are only human. Sure…replay is useful in reviewing goals, but if we’re going to push the use of replay on everything – we might as well have the referees just sitting in front of TV’s with a camera trained on every player on the ice….(it would sure go a long ways to alleviating the headache of getting the wrath of every coach who doesn’t agree with a call because it isn’t in their favor…)

    No official will ever be perfect, and the one who thinks he is should retire. They are in groups for a reason, and sometimes – they all miss certain infractions. For us fans watching the game on TV – we have a fantastic 3-dimensional, multi-camera view of the action…the referees and linesmen don’t get that luxury when trying to make the best assessment they are able, especially at the speed of play today. Sometimes the brain has to process what’s all going on. For those who complain about consistency – I’d challenge you to try officiating any sport and find out just how difficult it is to be consistent! Sure…I might not like something because it goes against the team I’m cheering for – but I also respect the job they have to do because some days there is no winning, only whining…like working in the “Lost Luggage” counter at the airport. PLUS…don’t think “they have it easy” because they have to be in just as good, if not better, shape than some of the players. They don’t get to sit and rest on the bench after a 45 second shift – they are constantly having to focus on play, watch/cover the lines, watch/monitor the benches and line changes (and the list could go on…) for the entire game. Yes…it’s their choice to be an official, but they wouldn’t be where they are if they didn’t have a passion for the game, if they couldn’t be objective about the job their doing, and if they chose not to do their job to the best of their ability. Even the most experienced official still has things that he could work on to be even better.

  15. vanfoodman - May 23, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Terry Gregson needs to resign or be fired, the sooner the better. This guy has been Director of NHL Officials for 4 years, and in that time we’ve seen some of the worst officiating in the history of the game. From phantom penalties, to the complete lack of consistency and blatant leniency during the playoffs this guy has displayed zero credibility. Obviously the refs have either been instructed to call nothing or are completely confused by their leaders orders. The department of officiating is in an absolute shambles. There is no one person to blame, but the first one to go has to be Gregson. He has shown zero leadership. Either he is incompetent or he has let someone or something take over his agenda, which is fair play. Something I am sure we’d all like to see.

  16. hawkeedawg - May 23, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    OK Tainted, here you go, now go get your tissues and then get lost. You have no place here as all you do is call people names and have ZERO hockey things to say with proof or fact. Why do you even bother with this site? You have nothing to contribute and you act like a 6 year old that didn’t get a trophy. I feel sorry for you.

    Here is fact. Pens vs. Sens Series after 4 games.

    Pens-19 penalties against
    Ott- 19 penalties against

    Oh Yeah, big advantage Pens!!!

    You have verbal diarrhea, nothing but sh!t comes out of your mouth.

  17. matt14gg - May 23, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    The biggest issue for hockey fans is consistency. There is no way the New York Rangers should be enjoying a stretch where they have had the last 11 power plays in their own building. They have not had a man short penalty called against them in their own building in the last two games. Even tho Ryan Callahan high sticked Chara so bad Chara was bleeding. This should have been a four minute penalty, instead: no call. Later on Chris Kelly gets tackled in the Rangers zone: no call. In the same game Jagr gets called for a marginal hook and Rangers get PP. We all know the refs tend to get intimidated by the home crowd and we also know that the rules change for the playoffs. Fine, but just be consistent. When you hand the New York Rangers the last 11 power plays (in their own building) in the playoffs, the only thing one can infer is that the league is trying to give a major market franchise a chance to get back into their series.

    • davidpcoelho - May 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Look at the previous Caps series for more evidence to this point. Game 6 no penalties against the Rangers at home at all. Games 3 and 4 were completely lopsided as well keeping the Caps off any kind of powerplay.

      Hell….even game 5 the Caps had no power plays in the second or third and was only rewarded one in OT which won the game.

      Cannot tell me any team plays that clean.

  18. gizzmonic - May 23, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Yes indeed! How do 4 bruins get high sticking face cuts in the same game, and never go on the power play once?

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