For those wondering how the NHL referees will be officiating this season after the league aggressively cracked down on obstruction last year... expect more of same, they will not be backing off the new standards.
"Maintaining the standards of enforcement and continuing to improve officiating is a big focus this year," deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com.About the only change that will be made in the officiating this year will be an increased focus by the refs on penalizing diving.
Here's why it shouldn't be as hard as people might imagine.
First of all, NHL officials have never received as much praise as they have in the past 12 months.
"Gary Bettman, [director of hockey operations] Colin Campbell and [director of officiating] Stephen Walkom, they get straight 'A' marks from my perspective," Anaheim GM Brian Burke recently told ESPN.com. "It won't be hard to get people to buy into it this year. The game's gotten better. The fans like it better." [...]
"We've got to stay the course. We've got to be as good or better as we were last year," Walkom said. "I was real pleased for the game. To see the game roar again was great."
Oh, by the way the Zebras do actually attack sometimes, as this clown found out...
I guess that could've been considered a boarding penalty.