It’s no secret the refereeing has been inconsistent at best throughout the playoffs. You don’t just see it with the Rangers, you see it in every game. One can argue it’s why we saw some of the nastiness in the first round of the playoffs.
But something that has been driving me insane is how fans continually blame the referees for the Rangers performance in the playoffs. The refs gifted the Capitals a goal on Saturday, according to fans.
The reality is the referees gave the Capitals a better chance to score with a power play. They didn’t actually gift the Capitals a goal. The Rangers still need to kill off that penalty, and the penalty kill has been great all season. Then there was no call on a slash late in the game, which would have given the Rangers a power play. But have you seen the Rangers power play this season? There’s no guarantee they would have scored on it.
But there are calls and non-calls that go both ways every night in every game. In a way it all seems to even out to me, not that I condone bad officiating.
No matter what the officials do or don’t do, the team still has to perform on the ice. I’ve always said the best teams are the ones who can overcome bad officiating. And the Rangers have done that several times this season. The Winter Classic is a prime example.
If you ask me, the first period of Game 4 is a bigger reason the Rangers didn’t pull out the win than the third period penalty and any non-penalties.
That being said, the league needs to do something about the officiating. The inconsistencies are affecting the quality of the game.
I feel the problems with bad officiating date back to when the two-referee system was put into place. First, there is the problem that the league needed more referees to be able to have a two-referee system. It means referees of lesser quality were getting the chance to officiate NHL games. But more importantly, you now have two referees who call the game differently, which can lead to in-game inconsistencies.
And then you see how referees aren’t even calling the right penalties. When was the last time someone called holding the stick? Plenty of times a different penalty is called instead.
The NHL needs a review system for its referees, something that has a public end result. If the process is transparent, fans might actually buy the fact something is being done to improve officiating around the league.
What’s funny, though, is how even when the referees get it right, people still complain. An example is the Alex Ovechkin hit on Dan Girardi Saturday afternoon. Rangers fans have wanted blood ever since, but I actually think the referees made the right call. Ovechkin served the right penalty for the play. You can question if there should have been further review of it, but at least the referees got the call right. In my opinion, I don’t think further punishment was necessary because the right call was made.
But we fans need to stop blaming the referees, or any one reason for that matter, for a loss. It’s becoming a crutch for fans if it’s not already. There’s no conspiracy against the Rangers. There are a million reasons a team wins or loses a game. I’m sure the Rangers are looking how they can improve their play and win Game 5 and not dwelling on the officiating. Perhaps we fans should do the same.
Filed Under: Rangers
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.