Thursday, May 7, 2009

Referring and Technology

This is AlmostHuman's article about referring. I found it very interesting

"I watched Detroit Red Wings forward Marian Hossa's controversial disallowed goal many times. It really looks like the whistle blows at the same time the puck goes in. It looks like a goal to me. But the play couldn't be reviewed and the Red Wings lost.
Would the Red Wings have won the game? You never know. But it certainly appeared they had tied the game and if a replay had been allowed, they at least would have gone to overtime.

That play could cost the Red Wings the series. That's why I think the NHL needs to change the rules to allow a review on whether the puck enters the net before the play is blown dead. The games are too important. There's too much at stake for a team money-wise.

We've taken so much away from the referees already. Everything is done by video and the league looks over plays in Toronto. The referees, more than ever, have less decision making. So why would it hurt to let the league review that play, too?

I don't think referee Brad Watson did anything wrong Tuesday night. He lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle as he is supposed to do. But I know that if he could have gone to video review, he would have done that right away. He doesn't want to be the goat of the game. That's the last thing he wants to do, to be singled out as the guy who cost the Red Wings a possible win.

I do more than 100 games a year on TV. It bothers me that even when a goal is obvious, the league still goes upstairs and takes two, three or more minutes to review it. When it's obvious, just call the goal. So why can't you change the rule to allow this type of play to be reviewed?

Officiating is hard in any sport. I watch football games and there are missed calls. Baseball recently added instant replay to determine whether a hit is a home run. Hockey is probably the hardest sport to officiate. The pucks are traveling at 100 mph. The players are big and fast. That's why I personally can't get down on the referees. But they need a little more help with replay.

Just look at all the action going on during that type of play Tuesday night. The referee is behind the net. There are guys who are 6-4 or 6-5 on skates in front of the net. Players are crashing the net. That's a lot of action and it's easy to lose sight of the puck. But allow a review to see whether the puck went in before the whistle blew.

Referees could also benefit from clearer edicts from the league. Guys are going to the net more and running into the goaltender. The referee has to make a split decision. Did Player A push Player B into the goaltender or did Player B follow through and actually want to hit the goaltender? I've seen more contact with the goalie during this postseason than in the past. The referees have their hands full. It's got to stop. The NHL needs to come up with a strong statement that you can't hit the goaltenders anymore and tell the referees to allow absolutely no contact with goaltenders.

Same thing with blows to the head. The guys are so big and the equipment is so rigid that hits to the head can do damage. We saw Donald Brashear get suspended for his hit to the head. Personally, I think all blows to the head should result in the offending players being ejected from the game. The league also needs to tell referees that.

There is so much parity in the league these days in the playoffs. You don't see blowouts anymore, like in the Edmonton Oilers' heyday. Every game seems to be decided by one goal.

We're asking a lot of the referees. Give them some help."

No comments:

Post a Comment