On Friday, May 27th 2011, Referees Dan O'Halloran, Stephen Walkom, Kelly Sutherland, and Linesmen: Steve Miller, Pierre Racicot, and Jean Morin officiated a pro hockey game with exactly zero penalty minutes. Outstanding.
See the full box score here, courtesy of USA Today.
How did they do it? Here is an opinion.
They didn't really do anything except recognize why the players were there.
Basically they got and kept the heck out of the way and quietly managed the game to allow the players to play.
That's all the players really wanted.
You see, here to me is the strongest case of all that the referees have very little to do with the outcome of a game, how many fouls occur, or if a players gets injured.
If the players want to play, the game takes care of itself.
Don't believe me? Take a look here for the following quotes from the NESN article.
"I don't think I've ever been in a game where there's been no penalties, but I think that was the best way to go. The refs did a great job of just letting us play and letting the best team win."
"I mean, they complained before Game 6 about the referees and we had some words about it before this game. I'm happy they let us play. I don't feel like it was a dirty game at all. Maybe there was one or two calls that they could have made, but it was great that they let us play and play to the finish. It's just fitting with how the series has gone that the game went the way that it did and it ended off the way that it did."
"I think the refs realized the situation and wanted the players to decide the game," Kelly said. "That's the way it should have been, especially a Game 7."Here is one end of the spectrum of respect and understanding for referees. I will show you the other in a day or two, straight out of the MLS.