Monday, February 4, 2013

NHL Replacement Refs?

If you remember, back in the beginning of the NFL season in September, mired in a labor dispute with officials the NFL brought in replacement refs.  With the refs came, untimely delays on calls and a lot of blown calls which created un-needed controversy for the NFL.

Well, early on in this young NHL season with the amount of obvious blown calls we have seen, it leads one to wonder if these are replacement refs in the NHL games as well.  Here we will go through a series of calls that shouldn't have been made:

1) No Goal Call- Blackhawks Vs Blue Jackets 1/26/13

In the second period of their game on January 26th, the Blue Jackets down by one and on the powerplay thought they had tied the score with a powerplay goal.  However, upon scoring the goal, it was waived off by officials.  No reason has been given as far as I know as to why the goal was waived off, only speculation some of which you hear in the video below:

2) David Backes Major Penalty against the Red Wings- St Louis Blues VS Red Wings 2/1/13

Just a few days ago, during the third period of a tie game between the Blues and the Red Wings, Blues captain David Backes was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for a hit to the head of Red Wing defenseman Kent Huskins.  This penalty changed the game as Pavel Datsyuk ended up scoring the winning goal on the ensuing major powerplay.  As it turns out, replays show that Backes wasn't even close to making contact with Huskins head:

3) No Goal Call- Ottawa Senators VS Montreal Canadiens 2/3/13

Similar to the Columbus scenario, in a game earlier tonight the Ottawa Senators were down 2-1 to the rival Montreal Canadiens and attempting to mount a comeback.  At the 1:26 mark of the third period the Senators thought they had achieved their comeback by tying the score, however the goal was immediately waived off by officials.  On top of that, Ottawa was called for goalie interference on the play.  However, as one can see in the video below, the contact is made outside the crease and the little that is made is done by Carey Price not the Ottawa forward:

4) John Erskine elbow on Wayne Simmonds- Flyers VS Capitals 2/1/13
During their game a couple nights ago, Capitals defenseman John Erskine elbowed Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in the face.  This play occurred after Simmonds had beaten Erskine to a loose puck and was attempting to get an odd man rush started going out of his zone.  Oddly, with all the talk of player safety the last few years no penalty was called on the play.  However, Erskine was suspended today by the NHL for 3 games:

While there have been other "bad" calls made, those things are going to happen.  The refs are human and mistakes are sometimes made.  However, the fact that so many blatantly incorrect calls like the ones in the videos above have been made in just 16 days is a little bit concerning.  Maybe the players weren't the only ones that were rusty following the lockout.

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