Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The KHL Doesn't Fuck Around With Mistakes

"You better get this call right, or you know what will happen."
Human error happens in hockey. Referees make the wrong call or simply miss calls all the time and you usually end up seeing them back making the same mistakes a few games later. Well, in the Kontinental Hockey League, that isn't always the case. If you mess up a call, it costs you your life. Just kidding, but you will probably be suspended or lose your job.

Last week, we saw four officials suspended after Lokomotiv scored a go-ahead goal over Traktor with too many men on the ice. Here's the play below:

As you can see, Lokomotiv plays with 6 guys on the ice and uses the extra man to their advantage. Traktor would complain after the game and the league would side with them and take action. The two referees were suspended for three games, while the linesmen who often make too many men calls were sent down to the Russian Major League and will not work another KHL game this season. In their defence, the KHL officials were probably distracted by the KHL ice girls doing their thing in the aisles. Imagine botching a call in the NHL and being sent down to the AHL? That's pretty awesome.

Today, the KHL relieved a video goal judge of his duties for the remainder of the season because he incorrectly informed the referees on the ice asking for clarification during Tuesday's Amur-Salavat Yulaev game. As you can see below, the puck didn't appear to fully cross the goal line, but the video goal judge awarded a goal to Amur on the play:

The KHL Refereeing Department reviewed the play further and found that no goal should have been awarded and subsequently dismissed the video goal judge for the season because of his mistake. The KHL posts these videos and stories on the front page of their website and holds those responsible accountable. While one might think it makes the league look bad because of such bad calls being made, they at least take action and don't protect their officials when they've made costly mistakes. Perhaps this is something the NHL should look into as if you think of all the missed calls over the years (Kerry Fraser's missed high tick, Brett Hull's foot, etc.) and how badly you wanted the referee to suffer - well, in the KHL they would have!

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