Playoff refs get bad rap

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- The way Gary Bettman sees it, life as an NHL referee these days is a lot like life as a police officer on the Red Mile.

Both are coming down heavy on offenders and both are taking plenty of heat for it.

"I'm not an expert in police matters but I remember reading there were issues over whether pedestrians were going to be allowed out onto the street," said Bettman, at The Pond for last night's playoff game.

"The answer was 'no,' except they couldn't hold them back. You can't have a standard you can't keep. It's a lot like officiating."

Through the first five days of the playoffs, officials have done well to uphold the zero-tolerance standard for obstruction fouls, prompting a steady stream of players to the penalty box. Officials have been maligned by some for disrupting flow.

"We all agree we'd like to see fewer penalties but the way to do that is not for the officials to put the whistle away because if they stop making the calls and they don't adhere to the standard we'll be back to where we were," said Bettman.

"There are no quotas -- they've been told to call it when they see it."


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