Officiating has come under heavy scrutiny during these playoffs and in many cases it has been warranted. There have been moments of gross inconsistency and mayhem which directly stem from officials losing control of the games they’re meant to reel in. Now, we all know that tempers have the tendency to keep themselves at an all-time high during a set of games meant to decide a championship. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the men in stripes which will have you fuming during the forthcoming Stanley Cup Finals.
Dan O’Halloran is the most tenured official in the NHL right now and, consequently, will be reffing in the Finals.
O’Halloran averaged 7.6 minor penalties per game in the regular season, dropping to 7.0 in the playoffs; this is the lowest average penalties per game in the postseason, just slightly less than Brad Watson’s 7.2.
In games officiated by O’Halloran this season, including playoffs, the Devils are 4-5 (average 6.8 minor penalties per game); the Kings are 5-2 (average 9.7 minor penalties per game).
Both Barry Trotz and Dave Tippett have called him out for what they feel were blown calls at various points in this post-season.
Dan O’Rourke has worked over 500 regular season games and 25 playoff games.
In games officiated by O’Rourke this season, including playoffs, the Devils are 5-3 (average 9.2 minor penalties per game); the Kings are 5-2 (average 14.3 minor penalties per game, in some rough matchups).
Chris Rooney is working his first finals. He worked a game with O’Rourke earlier this post-season that didn’t go so well.
O’Rourke and Rooney were paired together for the Conference Finals — together, they worked 7 playoff games together this season, including the Kings 4-0 victory in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, which, with 14 minors, 2 majors, and 4 game misconducts, was the most penalty-filled game of either Conference Finals, and the third highest in this year’s playoffs. The game included two major boarding penalties, on on Coyotes captain Shane Doan and one on center Martin Hanzal, who earned a one-game suspension for his hit on the Kings’ Dustin Brown. It also included a questionable embellishment penlaty on Kings captain Dustin Brown:
“If you look at the replay, his stick is above his head when he chops down on me. I think most hockey players know, if you get hit in the right spot, your leg goes numb. That’s what happened in that case.”
Brad Watson, the second most tenured official behind O’Halloran, is also working the Finals.
In games officiated by Watson this season, including playoffs, the Devils are 6-2, while the Kings are 4-2. Watson officiated one game between the Devils and Kings this season – the Devils’ 3-0 victory on October 25, 2011, at the Staples Center – a very clean game, with only 3 minor penalties.
Thanks again to Mr. Smith at Puck Press for compiling those blurbs.
Having said all this, do you expect shenanigans in this year’s final or just good, clean hockey?