Too much to ask refs to play up to level of Kings and Sharks?

Probably. But in a series this close, every mistake is potentially the one that turns the series, and I would prefer it if the mistake is made by one of the teams, since they’re the ones who “win” or “lose.” I don’t think the refs have tilted the series one way or another. But they really do need to bring their “A” game, or else playoff hockey, which is close almost by definition (not to mention, parity in general) is pointless, since everything comes down to the coin toss of referee whimsy.

To be extra clear: I’m not blaming the refs for the Kings losing (or the Sharks losing, or the Hawks losing, or…). I’m blaming the refs for being the “highlight” of the night too many times. Can that be what anyone wants? Is that what anyone is tuning in to see?

 
  • Michel Mike Balian

    Atrocious!! On both sides. Can’t blame the loss solely on that non goal.

    • Samuel Aronoff

      You are right, they cannot. However, the shots ended up even as did the power play chances. Voynov has a huge issue with a puck behind the net for the 5-on-5 goal that is the difference. That all said, the quick whistle was so bad. The puck is never frozen; not ever; not even close. NHL fans deserve much better than that kind of call.

      • scsf

        Referee positioning around the net has unfortunately changed a fair bit over the past decade or so (I have no idea when it happened, but it’s quite apparent if you watch old vids), leading to more if this sort of issue. I don’t see the situation improving, either, particularly as a whistled call (or in our case, a virtual whistled call) is never going to be reviewable.

  • Dan H.

    I’ll blame them for the Kings “losing” in regulation last night. They well may have reverted to first period form and lost in OT, but I’d have like the teams to sort it out, not a “quick whistle” that means they lose in regulation.

  • VagabondJim

    Hmmm, inconsistant play, missing the obvious, only showing up for part of the game…sounds like the refs are playing at the same level as the Kings. Sighhhhhh.

    I’m not sure Clifford is the right guy for the 1st line (maybe Penner? maybe Lewis?) but something must be done to drive change.

    We’re not fast enough right now to match SJS’ pushes. And, it kills me that we can’t find a way to breakout cleaner and faster. If the Shart’s D-Men are coming in aggressively to forecheck, shouldn’t we be able to spring someone behind them often enough (not always, it doesn’t work that easily) to keep them honest and make them back off the forechecking a bit?

    We’re getting out hit while losing the puck possession stats — that is some seriously bad mojo. Time to get faster/sharper or do a LOT more hitting. No middle ground.

    GKG!!!!

    • http://www.mcsorleys-stick.com/ Quisp

      Aside from the first period of game four, I feel like the series has been very even. The first round wasn’t much different. Then, it was “bounces.” This round, it seems to be calls (refs). And of course both series were tied going into game five.

      • m

        Ever since Wilson shot his mouth off and got fined, the calls have gone all one way pro-Sharks. I’d say it was $100K well spent.

        • http://www.mcsorleys-stick.com/ Quisp

          That’s interesting.

  • m_and_m

    I think the referee issues began with the expansions of the 80′s and 90′s. For the players it was at least partially offset by the influx of European and Scandinavian players, but not so the refs. Then the problem was exacerbated by going from one ref on the ice to two, which predictably led to twice as many bad calls.

    • http://web.me.com/kakitadoug/geekblog/Blog/Blog.html DougS

      Sudden dilution of the talent pool — that’s a good point. I’d probably pin more of it on going from one ref to two, since that meant doubling the number of referees overnight.

  • USHA#17

    I am used to the officials balancing the penalty minutes and atoning for a bad call with a “makeup” call but rarely have I seen makeup calls span games like they have here and against St. Louis.

    In just 11 game I estimate 4 were determined by whistles. I can not recall having ever seen such a large percentage of games determined by whistles.

    On the other hand there have been long stretches of well managed games against both St Louis and San Jose games where the officials took a break and let the players play.