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Bertagna, Hockey East Refs Remain A Joke

Northeastern coach Jim Madigan suspended for 1 game for rightful criticism of league's awful officials

You can't make this stuff up.

Hockey East has suspended Northeastern Huskies head coach Jim Madigan for one game at the start of the 2014-15 season for criticizing the Hockey East officials in the media. You know, the officials who disallowed an NU goal for no good reason and directly led to the Huskies' elimination from contention.

"Using the media to criticize an official's decision is contrary to league policy and is inherently unfair to the officials who work hard for college hockey each and every night," said Bertagna in the release. "Hockey East and Northeastern University expect better from our head coaches and Jim has acknowledged his error in this situation."


Well, it's a good thing Hockey East is as consistent in their disciplinary policies as their officials are in doling out on-ice penalties.

Let's jump way, way, way into the way-back machine, alllll the way back to two weeks ago:

"When asked what the difference between his team's win against Boston College on Friday and its loss to the Eagles on Saturday, Notre Dame head coach xx had a simple answer.

"The officiating. And obviously BC's top line played like the best line in college hockey," Jeff Jackson said. "I'm not complaining about any of the calls. It just needs to be the same way both ways, you know, in my opinion."

"I don't know why we switch officials from one game to the next when the officials have a good feel for the series,"

Oh. Well, I suppose he said "I'm not complaining about any of the calls." So I guess that means he is allowed to proceed to complain about the calls. Sort of like saying "No offense, but..." That means everything that comes out of your mouth after that doesn't count.

But yeah, no. Jeff Jackson was not disciplined for saying the officials were the reason why his team lost. He was perfectly free to coach on Sunday and repeatedly send 8-9 players onto the ice as a form of gamemanship, encourage his goaltender to flop around like a buffoon, etc.

I guess the Jack Parker rule applies to Jeff Jackson now. The rule whereby Angry Jack could continually berate the officials both on the ice and in the press.

And of course there was the time in 2012 BU captain Chris Connolly decided to voice his opinion on the refs:

I will say, I thought the officials made some pretty game-changing decisions. Normally, you wouldn't blame the officiating for the outcome. You don't like to make excuses but I think there were some glaring mistakes there. But other than that, it's a testament to their team and their goalie. [Maine] played well and they found a way to win.

No suspension. To be fair, Hockey East may have figured that since he was a BU hockey player, he would eventually get suspended anyway for something else, so no need to rush it. Still, pretty aggravating to see the inconsistency.

What's most galling though is that Connolly was right, just as Jim Madigan was right - Hockey East officials demonstrate the highest levels of incompetence I've ever seen in a supposedly "major" sporting event, not only routinely making poor calls, but routinely shaping entire games with their creative interpretations of the rules of hockey.

As many of you may recall, when BC played UMass in a two-game set back in November, the officials actually lucked in to making the correct call when UMass flagrantly skated in offsides and scored a goal that would have tied the game in the third period against BC. The refs reviewed the video replay and determined (correctly) that the goal was illegal and waved it off. As it turns out, the geniuses at the league office did not clarify that you can't do a video replay unless the game is on TV (because that makes perfect sense, right?), so Hockey East issued an apology to UMass for, you know, accidentally getting the call right. Because you can't have that. Then the next night at Conte Forum, Steve Santini is ejected from the game and given a game DQ for what replay clearly shows to be a clean, shoulder-to-chest, open ice hit.

No apology has been issued yet, to my knowledge, nor has an apology been issued for disallowing a BC goal against Notre Dame for "a penalty being called before the puck went in the net" even though replay clearly shows the puck going in before the alleged "penalty" against Patrick Brown. Nor has an apology been issued to UMass-Lowell for screwing them out of a game-tying goal in the 2009 Hockey East championship game because the ref "intended to blow the whistle" even though a) the puck was loose and b) no whistle was blown before they shot the puck into the net. Nor has an apology been issued to Michigan for getting screwed out of a Frozen Four appearance when Benedetto and Grav were reffing an NCAA tournament game between Michigan and Miami and improperly disallowed a Michigan goal. Nor has an apology been issued for officials coming up with creative calls like "excessive roughness," matching minors for high sticking, and the steadfast belief that "two minutes for tripping, two minutes for diving" is something that should be called on a regular basis.

Every week is a new adventure with Hockey East officiating crews. It's clear that disciplinary policy is as selective and mysterious as the calls on the ice. #FreeMadigan