Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hockey East Refs 2013-2014 Season in Review

So things get a little slow in the summer in the college hockey world so I took that time to take a look at the refs from this past season. I have opinions on all of them(mostly negative) but I wanted to see if the numbers lined up with what I was thinking. Here are the average penalty minutes called per game with a game involving each one of the Hockey East Refs. You're welcome in advance Dan Schachte.

Photo cred to : Christopher Evans/Boston Herald

Hockey East Officials

League Average= 23.64 penalty minutes per game

1. Shaun Davis-  37.4 pms/game- 9 games officiated- His numbers are bloated from a game where 113 penalty minutes were called between Notre Dame and Michigan Tech. His average is 29.5 without this game included. The numbers are still high but I don't feel like 9 games is a large enough sample to kill him for it.
2. Kevin Shea-  30.4 pms/game - 27 games officiated(0 BC games)- See below.
3. Ryan Hersey- 27.84 pms/game- 24 games officiated. Numbers were higher than I anticipated for Hersey but I don't remember any brutal calls by him this year. Some fans of other schools may disagree but I think we can all agree that she should add an H to his last name after the S.
4. Jack Millea- 27.48 pms/game- 30 games officiated. His numbers are also bloated by the 113 minute penalty minute game as his average was under 25 minutes per game for the remainder of his games.
5. Geoff Miller- 26.79 pms/game- 25 games- He almost always does games with Hersey so see above
6. Cameron Voss -25.9 pms/game- 31 games
7. Tom "The less good looking" Quinn 25.63- 15 games.
8. Kaval 24.375 7 games
9.Kevin Keenan-21.58 -16 games
10. John Gravalese -21.46/game- 24 games
11.  Jeff Bunyon- 21.03 -28 games
12. Tim Benedetto 20.5-  31 games
13. Scott Hansen- 20.2-31 games
14. Chris Federico-20.0 - 12 games
15. Tom Fryer-19.8- 12 games
16. T. Low - 18.05- 20 games
17. David Hansen-16.6- 20 games

This post started because I was curious as to how many more penalties Kevin Shea called than the rest of the Hockey East officials after watching continually call too many penalties last season. While these numbers aren't a perfect way to show it, it seems pretty telling to me. The amount of times last season I went on a rant(unfortunately for the people around me) about Shea and his whistle happy way of officiating a game was basically everytime he worked a BU game.  There isn't a website I know of that tracks which refs called each penalty so I had to settle for tracking which two refs were calling the game and the number of penalty minutes called in that game. If someone has stats to prove that Shea was consistently just a bystander while his partner ref(who all have lower average of penalties called per game) called all the penalties, I would be glad to see it.  Shea is an egomaniac and  these numbers seem to support my opinion on this.

Another interesting stat about Kevin Shea is that among his 27 games that he officiated in Hockey East last year, he officiated approximately 0 BC games. Now this may be because he has a documented bias for or against BC(I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is for if this is the case) so good for Hockey East for not assigning him to BC games but they still benefit by not having the worst ref in the league do their games. Next time a BC fan complains about the alleged league bias against them, ask them the last time they have seen Kevin Shea ref a hockey game and they should shut up rather quickly. BU had 6 games with Shea last season so it is certainly not a location issue considering the two schools are a 10 minute drive apart.

The surprisingly positive numbers to me were how low the averages for Gravelese, Bunyon and Benedetto were. I have a pretty low expectation for all three when I see them on the ice(especially Bunyon after he tossed Parker from a Maine game a few years back) but these numbers indicate they may not be as bad(whistle happy) as I thought they would be. With these numbers maybe I'll have more restraint before bashing them in the future but probably not.

 It is  not surprising that D. Hansen and T. Low have the lowest averages among the league as I barely remember them as officials which is a good thing in my opinion. Penalties need to be called(especially in Merrimack games) but these numbers indicate that Low and Hansen among others avoid calling ticky tac bullshit penalties which is what all fans should want. If it is an obvious penalty, then it should be called. If not, let them play.

My issue with Shea is not who he calls the penalties against, he simply calls too many of them while yelling at the players as they skate to the box when they complain about the call. He seems to be out there to establish his way of calling a game and turning too much focus of the game towards him instead of the players who the people come to see play. This season was the first time that I noticed it so maybe he just had a bad year and will be better this season but he would be better served to call less borderline penalties that disrupt the flow of the game and the ability of the players to play without worrying about a very questionable penalty being called. I am not out to make it seem like he is the only bad ref in the league because he isn't and I am sure he isn't always terrible but it seemed like he got in the way too much during the games he called last year. When you call on average 1.5 more penalties per game than any other ref who worked over 20 games, I think you may have a problem. The league obviously agreed as Shea was not a HE QF, Semi or Final for the Hockey East tournament last season.

Note: 100% chance someone tweets at us the first time Shea calls a penalty on BU this year and blames us/me for it

Official BSRS Linesmen rankings:
1. Chris Millea
2. Tommy George
3. Everybody else

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