BOSTON (CBS) – The officiating crew for Tuesday night’s pivotal Game 3 has been announced and it doesn’t bode well if you’re a Bruins fan.
Not only will the Bruins be faced with a hostile Bell Centre crowd, but also unbalanced referees that are partial to the home crowd.
That’s not just conjecture — the stats prove it.
Producer Jim Louth ran the numbers and they go like this…
The two referees for tonight’s contest are Tim Peel (born in Toronto) and Southie’s own Chris Rooney.
Chris Rooney called the most penalties of any referee in the 2013-14 season, and Peel ranks in the top 10 — two refs in the top 10 for penalty minutes assessed.
Even more disturbing is Peel ranks second for biggest home team referee in the league. Peel calls 20.7 percent more minor penalties on the road team. Rooney is also slightly higher than the league average in calling more minors on the road team.
Lastly, in the 2013-14 NHL season, the home team won 53.6 percent of the time. In games officiated by Chris Rooney, the home team won a league high 63 percent of the time. Peel was also above average at 56.1 percent.
“Those numbers, from the Bruins end, that’s something to be aware of heading into tonight’s game,” said Andy Gresh.
Given that the deck is stacked against the Bruins, it’s going to be all the more important for them to stay disciplined and not let the Canadiens get under their skin.
Gresh doesn’t pay any attention to where the referees were born. What’s more concerning to him is the amount of penalties called in favor of the home team.
“If the Canadiens have six power plays and the Bruins have one then people are gonna be screaming from the mountaintops tomorrow,” said Gresh.
Zolak, echoing the sentiments from TSN’s Martin Biron earlier today on Toucher & Rich, emphasized the importance of getting a good start if you’re the Bruins and not putting the Canadiens on the power play early.
“If you put them on the power play early up there, let’s face it, the Bruins penalty kill has not been very good against this team. You’ve got a guy on the Canadiens P.K. Subban that knows how to put the puck in the net. Stay away from the damn box early in this game. Try and get a lead, a big lead up there and get them thinking,” said Zo.
Listen below to the full discussion: