Do NHL Referees Have Too Much Power over Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Ryan O'LearyFeatured Columnist IMay 20, 2013

If you talk to Jonathan Quick or Mark Eaton or Brian Strait, they'll have plenty to say about the NHL referees in the 2013 Stanley Cup.

Each of these players and, by proxy, each of these player's teams had a result determined by a referees call or non-call.

Strait was called for a questionable interference against Sidney Crosby in overtime of Game 3 in the first round, which resulted in a Penguins power play, a Penguins goal and a Penguins win.

If you ask the Penguins, it was interference and the right call to make regardless of the overtime situation. If you ask the Islanders, it was a dive and a show of favoritism by the league for its superstar in Crosby.

Quick was livid over the double standard shown by officials in Game 3 of their second round matchup with the Sharks. Quick was interfered with on Dan Boyle's goal in the first period, but no call was made. Later in overtime, the Kings were actually penalized for goaltender interference, giving the Sharks the man advantage in extra time and the eventual game winner.

So, are referees determining these all-too-critical playoff contests? Should they swallow the whistle and let the players decide or stick to the letter of the law?

We debate this ongoing discussion but also want to hear from you on the topic. Leave a comment below and tweet us: @BR0leary and @CaseyDemarco with your opinions.