So, we've all seen it. Ridiculous non-call on Kadri's hit on Ceci. The Blues facewashing every Ottawa player, penalty free, with Ottawa doing it once and going down to 5 on 3. Reffing's pretty rough right now.
This is the first part of a infinite part series until I get done being mad at the referees. This is not a place to complain. This is a place to fix. A healing place. A kind place.
The one thing I've noticed over the past few games is that most other teams are WAY better than Ottawa at diving. Ceci's comment of "I probably should have stayed down longer' after the hit from behind from Kadri is depressing - it shows NHL rookies are learning that the only way to get a fare shake is to lie on the ice. And this is a problem.
Refs are super hesitant to call diving penalties. A diving penalty is basically the definition of subjectivity, and NHL refs are a timid lot, not wanting to put themselves out there. Plus, you are basically insulting a player, challenging their sportsmanship, their role in the game. No ref wants to do that. Thus we see 3-5 horrendous dives every night, and 0 penalties.
What's the solution? People love saying refs just need to call it. Don't call both, just call the dive. That's an incredibly difficult call to make. My solution?
Suspension. Video review of suspicious incidents. 1st instance - stern warning. Second and onward - escalating suspensions. This is a call we're NEVER going to get on the ice consistently. But diving is one of the most destructive, unsportspersonlike, cowardly actions in the game. The only solution, to me, is off ice officiating. Which means the penalty has to be suspensions. Once someone racks up a few suspension for diving - hey - maybe the refs would even be willing to call it on ice.
Stranger things have happened...