NHL drops the ball again

May 24, 2014, by
Photo: The Score

Photo: The Score

The NHL is becoming a laughing-stock of a league. No, this isn’t sour grapes over Derek Stepan, although the incident did spur this rant on. This is about the inconsistent officiating, the lack of accountability of the zebras and the lack of consistency in suspensions.

Dan Carcillo got ten games for mauling the linesman. That’s fine by me. It is in the rule book, and he deserved it. However, no punishment –that we know of– for the official who dragged an emotional player away from a non-staged scrum is laughable. This is hockey, let them work it out.

Brandon Prust got two games for “interference” on Stepan. I guess they are calling it interference because he didn’t receive a penalty in the game? Because Stepan played the rest of the game? But the hit was late, dirty, and broke Stepan’s jaw. Point of contact: The head. If you want to eliminate head shots, then you have to get this one right. Carl Hagelin got three games for a questionable hit on Daniel Alfredsson, one that didn’t break Alfie’s jaw. One that wasn’t late. Sure, that hit wasn’t exactly clean either. But if we are using the old “he has no rep” argument, then at least make the suspensions equal.

How about the officiating crew that missed the hit? You’re telling me all four officials missed that? Where’s the punishment for the four of them? They are still going to work the playoffs, and possibly the Stanley Cup Final. But yet, we don’t hear anything about accountability there. If I mess up that poorly at my job, I get fired. Suit would get his tie clipped.

This is a hypothetical here: But let’s say the refs actually give Prust the five-minute major and the game misconduct he deserved on that play. Derek Dorsett doesn’t get revenge by getting punched in the face, Carcillo doesn’t maul a linesman in the process, and maybe, just maybe, we are looking at some consistency with the suspensions. But of course, ALL FOUR missed it. I don’t even see how that’s possible. Wasn’t the idea of putting an additional ref on the ice supposed to prevent this?

How about the lack of respect among players? Players that complain about head shots, then go and make dirty plays like that and say it was clean. Prust, Matt Cooke, P.K. Subban, Sidney Crosby, all the spears and nut-jobs we’ve seen these playoffs. These are suspension-worthy in the regular season, but not in the postseason? What gives? No consistency.

The NHL and the Department of Player Safety are a joke right now. Everyone who has been watching these playoffs has been laughing at the officiating and the consistency. But yet they continue to force-feed us that these are the best playoffs. They ignore the issues at hand: The NHL officials have zero consistency and accountability for their jobs. It’s disgusting actually.

I think we can safely compare the job of an NHL official to the job of a weather man. Both can be wrong 75% of the time, and never lose their job.

"NHL drops the ball again", 5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.
Categories : Rants


  1. ranger17 says:

    Officials are supposed to be rated after each PO game .So i guess we wont’t see these 2 Refs again .Call Prust for an interferance call and it is a hole different game from that point on . Prust proberly dosen’t see the ice again if we score and none of the other stuff happens . Official was standing right behind Subban when he Slew foot Dorsett . That is when a lot of players get cuncussed.

    • Ross Mosschito says:

      “So i guess we wont’t see these 2 Refs again.”

      Ehhh, might want to check the ref assignments for game 4 mate – I believe its the same group for the entire playoffs.

      If so – particular troubling consider all the blatanly missed penalties – Subban obviously can do as he pleases..

      The worst was the ref instigating on Carillo. The dude’s just standing there and here referee engaged him.

      Unreal – the NHL might want to check these idiots’ bank accounts…

  2. JerryinMA says:

    Couldn’t agree more. The officiating has been brutal. The officials are not merely inconsistent but they’ve oftentimes ignored the most obvious infractions even when it takes place in front of them. Yes, hockey is a very fast game and it’s easy to miss things but the officials are missing so many things that, I think, they are deliberately letting blatant infractions go unpunished. The idea is “to let them play,” since that accords with the gods of television: it’s simply good theater that draws audiences. How else can one explain how four officials failed to notice Prust’s vicious hit on Stepan?

    But what compounds my disgust with the officiating is that there is no real accountability in trying to take unnecessary violence out of the game. To sit Prust down for only two games for an illegal hit that injured another player and give Carcillo ten for pushing an official, however wrong that was, is a laughable disparity that demonstrates the moronic character, in my mind, of the league’s officialdom.

  3. AD says:

    Spot on with the article. The inconsistency within league suspension rulings is hurting the game. Players KNOW well in-advance it is a good trade-off for 4th line players to take runs at skill players. It’s really an easy decision if it could sway playoff momentum, and it does.

    I have no issue with the Carcillo decision and replay suggests to me he purposely swung his elbow at the referee so I couldn’t even argue if the suspension was longer. But hits to skill players like Stepan and Barrie (Avalanche) by “enforcer” type players should have a 3:1 penalty ratio, as an example (e.g., injured player out 4 games; offending player out 12 games). This would be ample incentive for the Prust hit on Stepan to have come at least a few inches lower, if not sooner or not at all.

  4. Scully says:

    The problem is also, and not because we’re the Rangers, that if we go out and retaliate in any way Sunday other than winning, you know we’ll get penalized for it. All things considered think of the takeaways from game 3 leading into game 4:

    •Montreal scored three goals: one softy and two lucky bounces.

    •The Rangers dominated puck possession. Montreal controlled play in game 2, but I wouldn’t say they “dominated” other than early in the 1st period.

    •While Derek Stepan broke his jaw my feeling is that he’ll play, considering “he’s a hockey player :)” and also the Getzlaf injury was way worse and he played. Seriously, he’d better play lol. He’s the #1 center and you’re 6 wins from the cup. Plus he played the rest of the last game with the injury and was throwing his body around as well.

    •Dan Carcillo gets the 10 games, but he’s a spare part (albeit a good one) if Brassard can go then this seems less important. I’m one that disagrees that he should have gotten 10 games. I think he should have received the more lenient 3 gamer, but we know that wouldn’t happen because he’s Dan Carcillo. If it was Sidney Crosby the linesman would have been suspended without pay.

    •Brandon Prust is an essential piece to Montreal’s energy and PK. He’s now sitting two important games.

    •Montreal’s goalie sure was letting a lot of juicy rebounds and making big saves. The law of averages says that some of those will go our way if it keeps happening.

    Of course if the Rangers play flat tomorrow night and lose, we’ll be pissed off, but this team showed me a hunger the other night even before the Prust play that tells me they’re ready to take the next step. I see absolutely no reason as to why that wouldn’t even be more so tomorrow evening.

    To tie it into the overall post, I’m not one who feels that officials/The NHL will screw the Rangers because it’s the Rangers, but I do feel as though the NHL has always had a bias in favor of the Montreal Canadians. I’d love to know more of the background on the officials that called game 3, especially the linesman involved in the Carcillo play, who according to Doc is a failed hockey player in his own right.

    • Chris F says:

      They’ll play Bournival is Prust’s place. He’s faster and a tenacious forechecker. A lot of Habs fans actually wanted Bournival in the line up from game 1 and are therefore elated that Prust is suspended forcing Therrien’s hand.

  5. ROBERT MINTZ says:

    Hockey will always be the Rollerball of any professional sport.

    Run for the amusement and profit of big corporations, and the making up of rules as they go along.

    Example: The Sean Avery rule during the playoffs. How many months, years does it take to make rule changes in hockey? This one occurred literally overnight.

    Think about it.

    I cannot blame all four officials for the missed call on Prust. The linesman at the Montreal blueline needs to be there. A ref needs to be where the puck is. The other linesman is probably required to be in the neutral zone in case there is a turnover or to break up scrums in the offensive zone. I do put that responsibility for the infraction on Stephan squarely on the trailing referee. I do put responsibility on the referee standing there when Subban slew foot St. Louis.

    The technology is there my friends, even for pucks that are under a goalie on the goal line. I went into Best Buy yesterday, picked up a jacket protector for my new Iphone, decided I wanted one with more padding, and didn’t buy it. When I got home I received and email from Best Buy asking me if I would reconsider buying that product. Scary right? They probably identified my face from a previous purchase, took a photo of me while I was looking at something to buy, knew what I was buying and cross referenced it to my email address. How many times have the officials called a penalty on the wrong player? If hockey is such a fast sport, then use the technology that can get it right.

    Why not have a 5th official monitoring the play from the stands or watching it on the television monitor? Enough with the guessing.

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      Even better, have 1 Ref and 2 linesmen on the ice and take the 2nd referee and put him behind the monitor with a few different angles. As is the refs and linesmen get in the way of the play way too much.

  6. Rob says:

    First, I NEVER liked Prust. Hands of stone. Skates well, but in open ice has no real quickness. Only positive is willing to play hard. That is not worth a 2m contract.

    Second, the NHL logic of you touch a linesman gives you 10 games OR you deliver a late violent hit that breaks a jaw gives you 2. Illogical. Rangers dress the biggest goon possible from minors for next game and go right at Max P. eye for eye justice. No fights. Just bang him every chance possible near the boards. Since Rangers have last change -ONLY insert the goon when the Rangers are up and the draw is Canadiens side of the ice.

    I cannot remember who the Rangers have in the minors for this job. The forward that was on the Islanders?

  7. The Suit says:

    Someone made a gif of the Carcillo incident, not legal by any means, but looks more like he’s trying to get away from the ref rather than intentionally hurt the guy

    • Ray says:

      I thought that was obvious at the time. Except to the guys on the ice who thought the Prust hit was clean.

  8. Bort says:

    I think saying that there is inconsistency in the officiating is being kind and giving them the benefit of the doubt.
    I think the real problem is that there is too much business and politics involved. Who you are (even beyond considering repeat offenders) and who you hit play far too much into it. The lack of consistency is a byproduct of the bigger problem.

  9. ranger17 says:

    Prust will not lose any $$$ over this as they do not get paid for the PO games . So he gets to rest for 2 games , and that is all . No fine went with the 2 games

  10. Spozo says:

    No one has brought up that te guy is a REPEAT OFFENDER. He was suspended in the 2012 playoffs for an elbow te the head. What a joke this crap is.

  11. Chris F says:

    Sheesh, sounds like a Montreal forum in here today.

    We’re better than this.

  12. Absurd says:

    There was a good chance that this was looking like a short series so the powers that be needed to do something in order not to loose any revenue. At the end of the day, this is about money for them.

  13. DPeters says:

    Go Rangers!!!!!! Take one at home and I feel the series will be ours.

    Your outlook is completely right. The effect of no call snowballed into greater problems. Bring back Mr B Shanahan. Dept had some teeth when he was at the helm and he tried to be consistant.