Working A Game 7

from Kerry Fraser of TSN,

The team of officials selected to work this series-ending tilt have also been preparing for the opening puck drop since as early as Tuesday when they got on a plane, train or automobile to arrive in the City. Each official is required to arrive prior to the 9pm et curfew but more likely came in advance of that to join their colleagues for an early dinner. Casual conversation would take place over the magnitude of the game, events from Game 6 that would have been watched by the entire crew from their respective home locations, or even perhaps a perspective gained in a backup role. The officials have a great deal at stake as well. They must be at their very best and desire to be a “non-factor” in the outcome of the game; hopefully to leave it in the players’ hands.

They know that there will be a great deal of emotion and energy on the ice from both teams. While they will certainly feel the pressure, it is important for the guys in stripes not to get drawn into the emotional battles that will likely take place. The referees and linesmen need to maintain an emotional state of neutrality, but also be prepared to bring an elevated energy level and impose themselves as the game dictates. The Series Supervisor will have conducted a meeting with the crew at Noon today and highlighted areas of emphasis for the officials to be aware of. That information would surely include protection of the goalkeepers, making sure that each call will withstand the test of a replay and not to be fooled through embellishment. Last but not least, make sure any puck shot over the glass wasn’t deflected before imposing a penalty.

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