As my dad and I ulcerated through last years' playoffs, we bitched at great length—probably too much—about the officiating. But when the intellectual dust settled (ho ho!), we both admitted that our view of the plays could have been wrong or misled....
....but it sure looked like—from that angle, anyways....
Usually, the bitching was over an obstruction call.
I don't care if you call it, just call it consistently!—as if that were ever possible.
Unfortunately, the way perspective changes for a moving official is no different than for a moving camera. On top of that difficulty, an official usually has two coaches, 40 players and 20,000 fans on his case. It's a wonder the refs catch as much as they do.
Alas! obstruction calls are here to stay. And for good reason. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of grinding a body can commit with some impunity:
If Player A whacks the back of Player B's skate on the runners, Player B will lose balance, and might even fall, depending on how much force is applied. The fall will look like Player B’s skate got in a rut or like he lost his footing, and as long as Player A doesn’t commit to a huge windup, he will go unpunished.
If Player A takes his stick in both hands, and rakes it down the back of Player B. The shaft of the stick will catch on the back lip of Player B's pants, pulling him backwards on his ass to the ice. Once again, Player B go boom, ref not know why.
If a scrum occurs along the boards, Player A takes his stick in his board-side hand and slides it between the body of Player B and reefs away from the boards, sending Player B on his butt.
Essentially, the three should be called tripping, interference and hooking, respectively. However, these are some of the tricks of old time hockey players, and they still work today, residing in the sub-text of daily stats and game recaps.
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