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11-21-2007, 10:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Originally Posted by
If for any reason the ref's touching the puck during the play, he's the one that's being yelled at (and for good reason IMO). A D-man trying to clear the puck from his zone just shouldn't have to care where the ref is.
With experience (understanding the game pattern) and mobility on skates, a ref should be able to avoid most of those situations.
Of course, it's a little bit more difficult for the linesmen. Their freedom of movement is quite limited.
There's no way I would have considered calling a penalty when the puck was shot at me during the play. Just made sure I moved my ass faster next time.
When the puck is coming at you fast enough, there is no getting out of the way.
For referees, if you're in junior hockey and up, I agree as referees at that level are free to move wherever they want to in the zone. Below that, a referee's positioning is scrutinized a lot. As a referee in Midget AAA and below, I have to follow the piston positions and I am not supposed to go behind the goal line. That limits my position a lot in the zone.
I lined 6 Midget AAA games last weekend, and for the most part, players were good. I always make sure I yell heads up when I see a potential dump in (or out) coming, and some of the players were good enough to put their shot along the ice, which I like because I can jump to avoid it, or take the room I give them along the boards and shoot it behind me. There was one shot off the boards that hit me despite trying to avoid it, and the player told me to get the **** out of the way. I had a good referee who then warned the entire team's bench about verbally abusing the linesmen, thus I didn't have to say anything.
There were a few that went high off the glass in front of me, and when I am in position (at the Midget AAA level, players better know I'm there), that gets at least eye contact with an obvious message to watch out next time and do something different with the shot. When a puck is cleared high off the glass, it is too hard to predict the bounce when the puck is going at the speed Midget AAA players shoot the puck at.
I did have one incident after one of the games where the teams had gone to their ends and us officials were on our way to our crease when all of a sudden the puck hit me in the chest between my collarbones. A few inches higher and it gets me either in the throat or sends me for dental surgery. It wasn't intentional at me, but considering where I got hit, it was either a very stupid attempt to give us the puck after the game had ended, or he was shooting it at the opposing team's bench. I couldn't identify the player (some stupid teams out there without numbers on their arms), so I went to one of the coaches who I've known and gotten along with well over the years. He said he saw it and I quote, "I saw it, I'll find out who it was and tell him to pull his head out of his ass." That was enough for me to turn the other way and forget about it.
I am shocked at how many people think it's easy for officials to get out of the way of pucks, especially at high levels of the game. We don't chew players out for this because we want to be the show. We do it because we are looking out for our personal safety, and at levels such as Midget AAA, the players know where we are. If they don't, they're playing at a level too good for them.
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