Article at a glance:
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
The rather bizarre dynamic in which referees are allowed to ignore the rules as they see fit has been a constant source of consternation among some fans of the game, particularly those who cheer for the league’s most elite players.
While the NBA and NFL have embraced the value of letting star players exhibit their skills, the NHL has continually tailored its landscape to accommodate mid-range players instead. It remains a plumbers’ league, where the attitude seems to be something along the lines of “if we don’t let defencemen hook and hold, guys like Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov will put up 200 points a year, and we can’t have that.”
It’s an issue that reached a peak in last year’s playoffs, where McDavid didn’t draw a single penalty in 121 shifts over four games against the Winnipeg Jets. A year earlier in the four-game post-season series with Chicago, he drew one penalty over four games....
It’s a delicate line that stars have to walk when discussing the subject, because getting on the wrong side of certain referees could have lasting consequences.
When asked about the issue, again, as another season approaches, McDavid tried to view it from both sides.
“It’s such a hard job, they’re never going to be perfect, they do the best they can do,” he said. “They’re human, too, and they have their own opinions. They’ll see the game maybe a little bit differently.
“Overall you just want to see some consistency from game to game, consistency throughout the night, period to period. That’s what everyone is striving for.”
added 11:16am, Below watch Ray Ferraro on the same topic....