Parity by Officiating

If I was a Tampa Bay Lightning fan I’d be pretty upset this morning. I’m a Red Wings fan and I’m still not happy with the officiating last night.

I thought the five-on-three that started Pittsburgh’s comeback on Tuesday was a joke and the one that put the Red Wings in front last night in Tampa was just as bad, if not worse.

The Paul Ranger penalty to start things I can almost understand ’cause it looked worse than it was but I still call it weak. The Adam Hall penalty I have no complaints about. Chris Gratton’s penalty to make it three calls in 18 seconds? I still don’t even know what it was.

Two of three calls probably undeserved. Detroit scores twice on the ensuing power play to go from being down 2-1 to up 3-2.

With Detroit up 4-3 in the game’s final seconds, Marian Hossa skates in on an empty net. He’s hooked, poked, and otherwise assaulted and does not score. No call.

Almost a quarter of the season is down and it’s becoming abundantly clear that in the eyes of the officials the team with the lead can do nothing right while the team looking to pull even can do little wrong.

Players and coaches who can be fined for complaning about the refs and announcers who are supposed to be impartial are making little effort to hide their opinions on the matter. Chris Osgood, Andreas Lilja, Mike Babcock, Philadelphia’s Mike Richards, Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond have all spoke about how the officiating is seemingly being used to keep games close.

The cynical part of me thinks the NHL could never keep a conspiracy like this under wraps so this can’t be possible. That said, that there is so much discussion of it might mean that it hasn’t been kept as secret as it should be.

I don’t know what to think of what’s going on with the guys in the striped shirts. I don’t know if it’s a league mandate or circut-wide bad reffing. I just know I don’t like it.

Author: Clark Rasmussen

Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996 with no idea what it would lead to. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development.