Tags Posts tagged with "Officiating"


This letter is addressed to Mr. Steven Walkom, Director of Officiating of the National Hockey League.

Dear Mr Walkom:

Over the years, you come to expect an NHL official to make a few mistakes, miss a few calls or cost a team a game. In the case to veteran official Chris Lee, it has become abundantly clear to most Montreal Canadiens’ fans, and by extension the media and the organization, that some reorientation is in order to reaffirm the definition of ‘objectivity’ in officiating a hockey game.

At 1:04 of the first period, the Montreal Canadiens were called for a too many men on the ice penalty. Montreal defenceman Nathan Beaulieu played the puck at his bench as he got on the ice, and the whistle was immediately blown by Lee.

By definition, Rule 74.1 in the NHL Rule Book states:

  • If in the course of making a substitution, either the player entering the game or the player retiring from the ice surface plays the puck with his stick, skates or hands or who checks or makes any physical contact with an opposing player while either the player entering the game or the retiring player is actually on the ice, then the infraction of “too many men on the ice” will be called. 

That’s all well and good, except in this case, P.K. Subban was the player retiring to the bench, and was on said bench when Beaulieu played the puck.

Later, at the 14:18 mark of the same period, Canadiens’ defenseman Andrei Markov received a tripping penalty on Boston Bruins’ forward Colin Miller. Both players did make contact at the Canadiens’ blue line, but Miller fell too his knees a full three second after the contact was made. At no time did Markov extend a leg out or lunge with his stick to impede Miller in any way. It was the most blatant form of embellishment I have seen in over 40 years of watching the National Hockey League.

Then, there was the high sticking call made on Canadiens’ centre Torrey Mitchell at 4:36 of the second period. Mitchell was skating from the corner to the Bruins’ goal mouth area, where he was confronted by diminutive defenseman Torrey Krug. Both players were face to face, and it was Krug that was trying to initiate contact in front of the net. When Mitchell tried to push off Krug to get some separation, Krug went down like he had been shot atclose range…holding his abdomien.

And finally, making matters even worse, at 4:01 of the third period, Tomas Plekanec scored on a goal mouth scramble to seemingly tie the game, with Brendan Gallagher falling over him. After Bruins’ coach Claude Julien asked for his Coach’s Challenge, Lee took no less that 35 seconds to review the play, and came back to centre with a “no goal” announcement due to incidental contact.

Firstly, Gallagher entered the crease behind Bruins’ goalie Jonas Gustavasson. Then, as he tried to back out of the crease, Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara fell into him, forcing his weight onto Gallagher, causing the contact. Last time I looked, there’s nothing ‘incidental’ about that.

Hockey is a physical game. It’s a foregone conclusion that there will be contact, punishable or not, in almost every area of the ice. Calling justifiable penalties and calling back goals on incidental contact are expected. But when phantom calls are made, embellishment ignored and goals reversed when contact was by no means to fault of the ‘offending’ player and more because of reputation, I fear for the integrity of the game.

It’s the league’s responsibility to take action to correct this sub-standard level of officiating. And not by ‘punishing’ the officials in question by keeping them out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but by reorienting them on what correct calls and good goals are. The lack of clarity, and lack of objectivity in Lee’s case, mark the game in a way the league should never allow.

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

With the horrifying injury sustained by Ottawa Senators’ Norris trophy winning defenseman Erik Karlsson this week, join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo as they welcome Steve Ialenti from hockeyis.ca to talk about cut resistant socks. They are also join by Serge Belliveau to talk some powerskating and stickhandling.

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

Join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo, as they talk about both the power play and penalty kill, and get into the nuts ans bolts of the officiating contraversy surrounding the NHL.

Below, you’ll find the 5 most commons power play set-ups…Enjoy!!



There are five common ways of setting up in the offensive end during a power play.

These are the most common power play formations and each one works against different kinds of penalty killing.


OverloadThis is a good puck possession formation to start the power play in and all of the other formations can be started from this formation. The overload is also an effective way to play after the initial attack in even strength situations.

The overload or Czech power play creates a three on two on one side of the ice.

* The plays usually start from the hash marks at the half boards. One forward supports from below the goal line on the strong side and the other forward gets open between the dot and the mid slot on the weak side. The defensemen support from the blue line. This formation creates many passing triangles and all five attackers are threats to score.

* When the puck is at the point, the forward below the goal line moves to the front of the net and screens, the strong side forward is an outlet pass option and rebounder and the weak side forward gets into position for a one time shot.

In the umbrella power play the idea is to get the puck to the middle of the ice at the point.

* When the defenseman is in the middle with the puck the other defenseman and strong side forward go to the top of the circle and form a high triangle. * The other two forwards play in the low slot area. * From this formation shots can be taken or passes made to the players at the top of the face-off circle above the dots. Two players are in low and they can screen, redirect, one time shoot or rebound.

* The other two forwards play in the low slot area. * From this formation shots can be taken or passes made to the players at the top of the face-off circle above the dots. Two players are in low and they can screen, redirect, one time shoot or rebound.


The spread power play is simply a wide 2-1-2 in the offensive end. Two forwards are positioned below the dots on each side and one forward is in the mid slot.

 * The spread causes problems for the defense because there are four natural triangles to pass the puck in and the player in the mid slot area causes the defense to over compensate when on the weak side and either frees the weak side point or leaves the mid slot player open.  

*The spread is very effective on a 5-3 situation, especially when a pass is made straight down from the point to a low player on the strong side.


The slot set power play sets up on the half boards with one player behind the goal line and one player in the low slot in front of the net. The two defensemen play the point.
* When the puck goes to the point the player behind the net screens and the slot man moves to the weak side for a one timer or rebound.  * The slot set is similar to the overload but the weak side forward is usually a big player whose main job is to screen the goalie and tip shots.

1-3-15. THE 1-3-1 POWER PLAY

The 1-3-1 Power Play was developed in Finland. It combines the benefits of all of the power plays and is probably the hardest to defend against.

* The slot set creates four triangles to pass around and take one time shots from.  

* The point player must be very skilled with the puck, a good passer and have an effective shot.  

* This power play is very effective against the box penalty killing. The 1-3-1 gives more attack options than the other power plays but has a higher risk because the last man has the puck.