MaGoo Out, Refs On, Fans Ehh…

As the Stanley Cup Playoffs move on to round two, a bunch of refs do not get to move on with them.  Included in that group of couch sitters is Mick McGeough, the ever controversial ref who has cost teams games with poor calls and embarrassed fans with his extravagant behavior.  Why the NHL didn’t do this last season and let the man ref all the way into the finals last season is beyond me.  You can read the list of refs moving on here.

Still, MaGoo is only one man, and is a poor example of the reffing that has gone on this season, and into the playoffs.  So far, and I am probably going to catch hell for this, I feel the refs have done a pretty good job.  There have been a few bad calls here and there, which are often followed by the dreaded make up call, and there have been a few “phantom calls” here and there, but there hasn’t been anything really controversial so far.  The hooks, holds, and slashes have been called the same as the regular season, and the refs have been pretty much on the ball.  Overall, I’m happy with it.

No, I didn’t drink Stephen Walkom’s Kool-Aid.  I just don’t think the situation is as bad a many people think.  A look at how Tom Benjamin portrays the reffing, and you would think the sky is falling.  Color commentators love to get in some shots at the refs, helping to fuel the fire (and keep the views stewing).  How much of it is based in reality leaves much to be debated.  I think there should be high standards for the refs, this is the NHL after all.  But to color the situation as dire as so many people do seems just silly to me.  It’s a hard job, harder than most people think, and if they took the time to use their powers of reasoning, instead of listen to whomever happens to be yelling the loudest, they might see some more consistency on average, rather than just believing the sound bite. 

Folks, I’m a firm believer in making the call yourself.  Even when evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, pundits will tell you what they believe, or what sells.  Taking a step back, such as when your team isn’t playing, can be good for the perspective.  I think I may have more to say on this later.

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  1. The reffing in the regular season wasn’t awful, and a lot of the outrage in announcers is due to homerism or possible insanity, but it hasn’t been great. The standard in the playoffs is so high that, even if they’re making the same calls they were all season, it seems worse now. And it should. No matter what, though, getting Mr. Magoo out of there is an improvement. I’ve watched the video of Shawn Horcoff’s “hand pass” so many times that I have nightmares about it.

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