Can we talk frankly about NHL referees for a minute?
I have blocked more people over their comments on the subject than I ever did over the Necas All-Star debacle. And I blocked a lot of people over that.
In fact, I have given up hockey social media for until after the Stanley Cup because I am tired of reading people complain, debate, and pontificate on the calls and no calls. It seems like everyone has a hot take on NHL referees, and having one entry to the cool kids club.
It was bad during the Hurricanes series with the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Finals when a lot of my feed had skin in the game as Canes fans. Things have gotten worse for some unknown reason, when no one has anything riding on the games in the Stanley Cup.
My contention with these armchair referees is three fold.
First, the loudest of these Monday morning officials are the very same people defending players even when obvious mistakes are made in play. As if players are allowed mistakes but NHL referees are not.
If your favorite NHL player or NHL team can make mistakes, often repeatedly, then your least favorite NHL referees are allowed at least a few mistakes.
(I would argue that goes for NHL “fundits” as well but that is another article altogether.)
Secondly, I am of the school of thought that it was the player’s job not to let bad calls affect the outcome of a game. Or simply put, referees do not win or lose the game. Teams and players do. Sure, a blown call late in a game with little time left to correct can hurt a team, but maybe they shouldn’t be in that spot to start with.
Finally, it is an old troupe. Maybe get a new one? Try something else. Just like complaining about the power play, complaining about referees is pretty lame. It’s been done, try something else for a change. Maybe complain about…nothing…for a change.
(By the way, if it is common enough to make it into Slap Shot as a joke, it’s common)
It’s a game. Enjoy it.
NHL referees are NHL referees. They are going to blow calls. They are going to get calls right. You playing the guessing game on social media is not going to change it. Maybe re-evaluate yourself, and just give it a rest.