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Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Kerry Fraser talks officiating in the Stanley Cup final

I haven’t been able to catch all of the games so far from the Stanley Cup final, but the vibe I’ve been getting from the Internet is that the officiating has been a tire fire of a mess. 

I’ve been officiating minor hockey for a long time so I’ve always had a soft spot for NHL referees and the criticism that’s thrown at them on the Internet. A great follow on Twitter is retired NHL official Kerry Fraser. He gives a lot of input online about certain situations on the ice from an officials perspective, and last night during game four he was tweeting up a storm.

Oshie’s reverse hit

The biggest controversy coming from Vegas fans was the reverse hit ‘elbow’ that Oshie delivered on Miller that led directly to a Caps goal. You can watch the hit below.

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This caused a pretty big commotion on Twitter and I can only imagine how many people were asking Kerry Fraser about it. Fraser took the time to answer the questions and we got some really good insight out of it.

So that answers our questions on whether or not the play was interference. In the NHL it is considered a battle for the puck as long as it’s within an appropriate time from when the puck gets passed off. And as far as the elbow to the head that the fans wanted to be called? Well, take a look at these screenshots. Of course, it’s tough to tell through still images of the hit, AND it’s even tough to tell at full speed, but a missed call like this can be certainly understandable.

You be the judge. But if Miller actually broke his jaw from this play, my guess is that it’s from Oshie’s helmet.

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McNabb’s cross-check

After Miller’s jaw injury, the Golden Knights obviously looked for some revenge on Oshie. This cross-check from behind happened near the end of the game in the corner. The game turned pretty ugly at the end and it was obvious Vegas was out trying to send a message for game five.

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Thankfully McNabb got a cross-checking minor for this, but there a lot of keyboard warriors online claiming he should get suspended. Kerry’s thoughts on it? See below.

Reaves high sticking himself

Vegas fans wanted a penalty when it appeared that Ryan Reaves got high sticked in the face and dropped like a fly. Kerry gave his response and what he felt the refs saw and thought of when the play happened. It was later proven that Reaves high-sticked himself, but I still find it interesting to hear Kerry’s opinion on it.

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NHL officiating in general

This is my favourite tweet of the night by far from Kerry Fraser. As hard as both teams are battling out there, the refs are battling too. They can only do so well with the circumstances they’re presented with, and last night was a high difficulty game for them. Kerry applauded the officiating last night and backed them up 100%.


  • Dex Dexter

    Letting the boys play is what works here IMO. The calls that are missed are the gut wrenching final games go-round. Tough it out and win or go home crying. Woof.

  • camdog

    Craig Simpson whining about the reffing was pathetic, especially on the play where Reaves got himself. Wilson got away with one on Neal after Neal tried to break the goalies arm, but earlier in the game Wilson got a penalty when he got sticked in the face and the Vegas player did the old fashioned head fake. Only really missed call was when Vegas got dinged for tripping when I think the Washington player got tripped on his own teams stick.

    • OilersGM

      @camdog
      I agree.. Vegas is whining and b!tch!ng which is so satisfying for me because all season long they’ve been getting the calls especially in the playoffs now they had one go against them they are crying like little [email protected]… McNabb is running around like a donkey just to hurt other teams best players. Cry me a river… play the game and STFU.

      • OilersGM

        Also like Kerry Fraser said the Oshie hit on Miller wasn’t a penalty and was not a elbow to the head it was Miller that banged his nose on Oshie’s helmet and Gallant was crying after the game and telling everyone if they saw it which we all did but unfortunately not on member of the media had the balls to tell Gallant that it wasn’t an elbow to the head.

  • Randaman

    I guess it depends if you like Don Cherry hockey or hockey that requires players to show talent more than hooks, holds, interference, trips, OBVIOUS hits from behind! I prefer talent myself

  • ed from edmonton

    I suggest that everyone read the book Scorecasting and what is shows about the impact of playing at home on referees and umps. It suggests that at a professional level home field/ice advantage is primarily due to the impact on officiating. Basically a home crowd will impact officials calls, even balls and strikes calls. Its basic hard wired human psychology at work.

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    The Refs wouldn’t have to “put out fires” if they called the same rulebook as they do all year. And don’t start with the “They don’t want to influence the game so they swallow their whistles” crap, because that’s what they do when they let calls go.

  • Fire Woodcroft!

    It’s two American teams playing so you can trust the refs are doing their best to call an even game.

    But I do find it hard to muster any sympathy for the gutless stripes-wearing hacks…

    Trash away…