In my mind, I'm the kind of guy who doesn't believe that officials determine the outcome of hockey games. I'm the guy who believes that bad calls go both ways and that the refs are just human beings who are doing the best they can and who will sometimes make mistakes simply because they didn't see something due to the speed of the game or the angle on the play or because they actually saw the play better than those of us in the 300 level did.
But that's just in my mind.
In reality, I see conspiracies everywhere I look and the rink is no exception. I see officials who blow calls because they are inept or because they have a problem with a specific player or a specific team or because they are making up a call from their last game for against one of the two teams playing that night.
So, for our game day paper (which, if you haven't seen it, is glorious: Game Time - Caps 12.1.10) we have been tracking the calls for and against the Blues in every one of their games. I had thought (hoped) that most would play out at about 50/50 on calls for and against the Note. I'd also hoped that the Blues record in those games would play out to be equal across the years, no matter who was officiating the games.
In some cases, the referees are just that: totally equal, totally non-descript across the season and across their careers. Unfortunately, that's not the case for everyone. There are definitely some seemingly pro-Blues and anti-Blues referees. The chart below shows the stats we have been keeping since 2007-08. The only factor this does not account for is that the NHL does not keep (or at least, does not publish) penalty calls by referee - they are kept only by ref team. Therefore, every penalty called during Blues games has been attributed to both referees calling the game that night. The problem is that if one guy calls five penalties against the Blues and the other guy calls none, both get credited for all five. Hopefully this is evened out because there are no set "teams" of referees in the NHLOA, most refs call games with a different guy every game. (There are some exceptions, including the Blues games this weekend games in Canada which were both officiated by Marc Joannette and Chris Lee).
|No.||Official||Born||1st Game||2010-2011||Since 2007|
|Blues Games||Blues PP||Blues PK||W||L||OTL||Blues Games||Blues PP||Blues PK||W||L||OTL|
|3||Leggo, Mike||North Bay, ON||1997||2||4||6||1||0||1||21||84||79||11||7||3|
|4||McCauley, Wes||Georgetown, ON||2003||8||23||29||4||3||1|
|5||Rooney, Chris||Boston, MA||2000||19||79||87||6||8||5|
|7||McCreary, Bill||Guelph, ON||1984||1||4||4||1||0||0||15||67||67||6||8||1|
|8||Jackson, Dave||Montreal, PQ||1990||2||12||9||1||1||0||14||59||60||8||6||0|
|9||O'Rourke, Dan||Calgary, AB||1999||1||7||3||1||0||0||11||55||42||4||4||3|
|10||Devorski, Paul||Guelph, ON||1989||1||3||4||0||1||0||12||54||54||4||6||2|
|11||Sutherland, Kelly||Richmond, BC||2000||3||9||10||1||2||0||14||46||50||4||9||1|
|12||St. Pierre, Justin||Dolbeau, PQ||2003||1||7||4||1||0||0||12||54||51||9||1||2|
|13||O'Halloran, Dan||Essex, ON||1995||2||11||7||0||1||1||18||87||98||9||7||2|
|14||LaRue, Dennis||Savannah, GA||1991||3||14||12||2||1||0||17||68||66||7||6||4|
|15||Auger, Stephane||Montreal, PQ||2000||1||2||6||0||1||0||18||86||100||9||8||1|
|16||Pochmara, Brian||Detroit, MI||2006||3||20||13||2||1||0||19||82||93||10||5||4|
|17||L'Ecuyer, Frederick||Tois Riveres, PQ||2007||2||5||7||0||2||0||5||16||16||1||4||0|
|18||Kimmerly, Greg||Toronto, ON||1996||2||4||8||0||1||1||21||73||86||8||9||4|
|19||Dwyer, Gord||Halifax, NS||2003||2||4||6||1||1||0||19||77||70||9||9||1|
|20||Peel, Tim||Toronto, ON||1999||2||5||7||1||1||0||21||77||81||9||9||3|
|21||VanMassenhoven, Don||Parkhill, ON||1993||15||66||79||10||3||2|
|23||Watson, Brad||Regina, Sas||1996||1||3||4||0||1||0||17||72||85||6||8||3|
|24||Walkom, Stephen||North Bay, ON||1990||1||4||4||0||0||1||4||18||17||2||1||1|
|25||Joannette, Marc||Verdun, PQ||1999||2||6||6||1||0||1||14||55||60||5||6||3|
|26||Martell, Rob||Winnipeg, MB||1996||17||73||83||11||5||1|
|27||Furlatt, Eric||Trois-Rivieres, PQ||2001||4||14||12||3||1||0||18||70||78||8||8||2|
|28||Lee, Chris||St John, NB||2001||3||16||11||2||0||1||21||97||97||7||11||3|
|29||Walsh, Ian||Philadelphia, PA||2000||2||7||10||2||0||0||15||56||67||7||8||0|
|30||Hasenfratz, Mike||Regina, SK||2000||6||19||20||3||2||1|
|32||Kowal, Tom||Vernon, BC||2000||2||9||5||0||2||0||16||63||68||6||7||3|
|33||Pollock, Kevin||Kincardine, ON||2000||1||6||4||0||0||1||17||64||70||8||7||2|
|34||Meier, Brad||Dayton, OH||1999||1||2||6||0||1||0||18||73||67||8||7||3|
|36||Morton, Dean||Peterborough, ON||2000||12||51||55||7||4||1|
|37||Rehman, Kyle||Stettler, AB||2008||1||4||4||0||0||1||5||19||18||3||0||2|
|38||St Laurent, Francois||Greenfield Park, PQ||2006||2||13||7||2||0||0||10||48||43||5||3||2|
|40||Kozari, Steve||Penticton, BC||2006||2||6||10||2||0||0||18||81||80||12||6||0|
|41||Ciamaga, Chris||Buffalo, NY||2008||2||8||10||1||1||0|
|43||Jean Hebert||Bouctouche, NB||2010|
|44||Banfield, Steve||Halifax, NS||2008||1||4||4||1||0||0||4||20||16||3||1||0|
|45||Marcus Vinnerborg||Ljungby, SWE||2010|
|46||Charron, Francis||Gatineau, PQ||2010||1||6||6||1||0||0|
|49||Hebert, Ghislain||Dieppe, NB||2009||1||5||3||1||0||0||2||8||11||2||0||0|
You serious statheads (that reads STATheads, smartass) can probably break this down better than I can, but a few points jump out at me that I've listed after the jump.
- These guys seem like they're pro-Blues this year:
- Chris Lee (2-0-1 record, 16 PP vs 11 PK)
- Eric Furlatt (record is 3-1 in his games)
- Francois St. Laurent (2-0, 13 PP to 6 PK)
- Steve Kozari (2-0, though the Blues have had fewer PP (6) to PK (10) in his games)
- Dan O'Rourke (only one game, but 7-3 PP to PK ratio)
- Brian Pochmara (2-1 record, but nearly 2 more PP than PK per game at 20 PP vs 13 PK)
- These guys seem like they're anti-Blues this year:
- Stephane Auger (0-1 record, 2 PP vs 6 PK) and his game partner that night...
- Brad Meier (0-1 record, 2 PP vs 6 PK)
- Greg Kimmerly (0-1-1 record, 4 PP and 8 PK)
- Frederick L'Ecuyer (0-2 record).
- Historically (well, since 2007) the Blues have had a winning record at 117-99-33. The Blues have a losing record during that time when these guys officiate their games. File these guys under Do Not Want:
- Frederick L'Ecuyer (1-4)
- Chris Lee (7-14 - wait, what? Maybe he just went pro-Blues this season....)
- Chris Rooney (6-13)
- Greg Kimmerly (8-13)
- Brad Watson (6-11)
- Marc Joannette (5-9)
- Another group of historical stay-aways are these guys, not because of the Blues record in their games, but because of how many penalties they call against the good guys in the Bluenote:
- Stephane Auger (86 PP, 100 PK)
- Don VanMassenhoven (66 PP, 79 PK in 15 games)
- Brad Watson (72 PP, 85 PK)
- The historical good guys? These fine gentlemen clearly know a good, hard-playing group of hockey players who may dance the line but always do the right thing:
- Justin St. Pierre (9-1-2 record)
- Dean Morton (7-4-1)
- Steve Kozari (12-6-0)
- New guy Steve Banfield (3-1-0 and 20 PP vs 16 PK).
There are plenty of reasons to chant "Ref You Suck" during games and sometimes they are justified and sometimes they are justified. But most of the time the zebras are doing their best. If you analyze most of the guys in the chart above they fall into the neutral category in terms of penalties called for and against the Blues. Most of them are pretty close to neutral on record when they officiate.
But there are some guys, you know? Some guys we just shouldn't trust and some guys we should buy a beer after the game, just to, you know, keep them liking their time in St. Louis.
My personal list looks like this:
Refs I Don't Want:
- Brad Watson
- Fredrick L'Ecuyer
- Chris Rooney
Refs I Want To See Every Night:
- Steve Kozari
- Justin St. Pierre
As for the much-maligned Tim Peel? Well, as his stas show, he's pretty neutral in Blues games, having a 9-9-3 record since 2007 (1-1-0 this year) and only a slight number against the Blues in calls (77-81 since 2007, 5-7 this year). The problem is that Peel tends to make the calls that make him stand out. How many referees do you know their jersey number? Tim Peel's is No. 20. With guys like Peel and (name your most hated here) it's the controversial calls that make them stand out, not the quantity of calls for or against.