Originally posted on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 1/23/13
That didn't take long, did it?  Shortly after the Washington Capitals dropped their home opener by a score of 4-2 to the Winnipeg Jets, newcomer Mike Ribeiro wasn't shy in making his feelings for the officials known. Ribeiro had just ended the game with a 10-minute misconduct and a 2-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and was feeling chatty about how he thinks the officials are treating him and his teammates.  The year is young but fans, and now players, are quickly growing frustrated with the lack of clarity from NHL officials.  Check out what Ribeiro said following the loss, as reported by Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times.  Mike Ribeiro on officials: "They believe they're like above us or like more power, they feel power, I don't know." — Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) January 23, 2013   Ribeiro on refs: "I just feel like you're not allowed to talk to them anymore about situations that happens in a game." — Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) January 23, 2013   Fans, players and coaches alike have been quick to call out NHL officiating this season. Honestly, we can't blame them. The NHL is attempting to crack down on interference this year and as a result have been blowing the whistle on what seems to be a much more regular basis. While we didn't dive in and calculate just how many penalties have been called compared to this stage last season, we are confident that the calls this year have been debated much more heavily due to their nature.  Interference is being called on plays where players bump each other, even if it's inadvertent. This new problem adds to the existing problems that have plagued NHL officials for ages and it's starting to create some tension with the players and the officials on the ice.  Imagine if you're a player that just took a high stick to the face. The official missed it, leaving you with a bit of anger and probably a pretty sore face. On the following play, you bump your opponent with your body as you both skate to the puck. It was incidental contact that's expected in a hockey game. The officials arm goes up and suddenly you're sitting in the box. Outrageous, right?  Instead of fixing what was already broken, the NHL went and made things even more confusing for those playing and watching the game. The biggest criticism against NHL officiating has been the stunning lack of consistency. The new and improved (highly debatable) push to end interference has only made matters worse. Now it's completely unclear what is a penalty and what isn't. The slightest contact on a 50-50 puck might lead to two minutes while a more direct hit that impedes progress is not. Calling such minute contact in a contact sport is mind-numbingly off target.  Clean up and clarify the original rules we're all familiar with first. Then, and only then, tackle the subject of introducing new interpretations to old rules or introducing new rules to the book.  Unfortunately, according to Ribeiro, talking to the officials is a lost cause. This is an even more troubling issue but we're not positive if this is just the case in Ribeiro's experiences or just due to the specific officiating team that was on the ice.  Players should be allowed to have a line of communication with the officials, within reason. A player should be allowed to ask for clarity and explanations as they deserve to know what's fair and what's not fair in the eyes of the official. If this request is being denied, we might have a much more serious problem with NHL officiating than we previously thought. Of course, Ribeiro might have used some...colorful metaphors...when speaking with the officials, so take his comments with a grain of salt. We'll never know what was said in that conversation. At the very least, Ribeiro opens up the officiating debate early this season. Usually fans are able to stomach the officiating through the season's first week or two, but now that there's so much added pressure due to the shortened season we're seeing the officials called out early and often.  Let's hope the officiating improves before it gets worse.  Photo courtesy of CSN Washington [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sabathia on post-rehab health: The best I've felt in three years

Carmelo Anthony says he's putting his trust in Phil Jackson

Lynn Swann: Calvin Johnson not a Hall of Famer

NFL requiring background checks for combine participants

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

Oscillation, thy name is Pablo Sandoval

Mat Latos could be the steal of free agency

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker