Justin Bourne over at The Score takes a look at why officials have a tendency to avoid late-game calls:
Being a referee is a hard job on your average day. In an exhibition game, in a men’s league, in the NHL and in peewee. I spent parts of a couple summers reffing, and I remember being surprised at how much my own fatigue affected my ability to be in the right place. It’s kind of like being a penalty killer for 60 minutes – the job requires a lot of stops and starts to be in the perfect position, and while you’re doing that, you need to be keeping a clear, focused mind on the action.
And hockey doesn’t lend itself to simple decisions. Big bodies whip around an enclosed area chasing a small object that passes over lines at various heights, and sometimes things simply aren’t black and white. Even with multiple cameras and slo-mo replays, it can occasionally be hard to get calls right.
Read the full story here: Why referees “put the whistle away” late in games