The officiating in the NHL this season has been sub-par. The calls have been very inconsistent and hockey fans everywhere are outraged. Are the referees just simply missing calls, or are they not calling things on purpose to try and even up the games? Let’s take a look at some examples where calls have been outrageous.
On Sunday, March 19th, 2017, the Chicago Blackhawks took down the Colorado Avalanche 6-3. Midway through the third period the Avs were sitting nicely with a 3-1 lead over the Blackhawks. That’s when Jonathan Toews deflected a shot for his 19th goal of the season. The Avalanche then challenged the play saying that Chicago was offside when they entered the zone. Let’s take a look at the freeze frame:
Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs:
On Monday, March 20th, 2017, the Toronto Maple Leafs took down the Boston Bruins 4-2. A little over midway in the first period, Maple Leafs forward Nikita Soshnikov drilled Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron head first into the boards. Let’s take a look at the play:
One piece of evidence we do have is that the Calgary Flames have been targeted by NHL referees the whole season because of Dennis Wideman’s hit on a ref last season. The Flames are currently leading the league in penalties. In the last five seasons, the Flames weren’t even in the top 10 penalty leaders. So, this leads us to believe NHL refs have it out for the Flames because of Wideman’s hit on a ref from last season. One example of how the Flames have been targeted is the fact Michael Frolik was tripped and it should have been a penalty on the opposing team, instead it was a diving penalty on Frolik. Let’s also take a look at the fact this was a penalty shot for Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid on a terrible non-call on the Oilers and a terrible call on the Flames:
In conclusion, the NHL referees need to be reprimanded for inconsistent calls and also for targeting teams that they do not like and showing favoritism to the ones they do like. (The targeting/favoritism is just an opinion on what I have seen/heard/read online. Which makes me believe that there is some of that going on in the NHL.)This makes the game extremely unfair and no fun to watch. There is no definite answer as to why they are so inconsistent, they could simply be missing calls, or they could just have it out for certain teams. Whatever the case may be, I think the NHL needs to reevaluate their officials in the offseason. The inconsistency this season is at an all time high and something needs to be done.
Photo: (Amazon) (SB Nation)