ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski took a crack at breaking down playoff officiating — including some ways to fix it. We were happy to weigh in on the conversation, along with retired NHL referee Dave Jackson, currently a rules analyst with ESPN.
Complaining about Stanley Cup playoff officiating is a rite of the season, like watch parties and rally towels.
The coaches complain about officiating. Like Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour admitting that “I’m a little pissed, to be honest with you” when an unpenalized slash from New York Islanders forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau broke the hand of Carolina winger Teuvo Teravainen. Or Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe accusing Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper of “manipulating the officials” when Steven Stamkos fought Auston Matthews in Game 3.
The players complain about the officiating, none louder than Marcus Foligno of the Minnesota Wild. He was whistled for two specious penalties against the Dallas Stars in the Wild’s Game 4 loss, resulting in two Tyler Seguin power-play goals.
“It’s bulls—,” Foligno said. “This is playoff hockey. You go and hit a guy and it’s not illegal. It’s clean and you’re getting called to the penalty box.”
The fans? They complain the loudest about the officiating. Every online fan base has theories about the referees having it in for their team. Every arena has its own derogatory chant to express discontent with the officiating.
But is there really a problem? And what can be done to fix it?
Greg’s got a few ideas. We’ve got some thoughts as well…
Check out the complete article at ESPN.
One solution to make Stanley Cup Playoffs officiating less terrible: expanding video review for minor penalties.
But just for overtimes.
I explain why that works and why NHL playoff refereeing is getting such massive heat this year in my ESPN column: https://t.co/arWm2mOlV0
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 27, 2023