Let them play! How often have we heard this refrain? Don't call the chintzy penalties. Well, what you end up with is overtime after overtime of tired players, who even though they make mistakes due to that lack of energy, they can't get anything on their shots...or they're too punchdrunk to hit the net.
Last night's Sharks-Stars Game 6 was not exactly an NHL classic. Sure, there was enough action but when the announcers were going on about Turco and Nabokov making 50+ saves, this was no Dan Ellis performance over 60 minutes vs. the high-powered Red Wings in rd. 1.
Overtime is exciting...maybe at best through two periods but after that it's a war of attrition, and let's face facts, more tension- than action-filled. I'm not saying the NHL, or any hockey league, should change it, but stop going on and on about how "great" long OTs are. Just end it already!
Which brings us to the officiating. If the refs would call a penalty, a penalty and not revert back to the dead puck days, then games would end quicker. But, noooooo, we can't let the refs decide the games so let's let the players get away with tackle football.
This is why no matter how hard the NHL tries, it always ends up looking like the league that has no clue. A penalty is a penalty is a penalty...oh, yeah, except in overtime in the new, old and whatever NHL playoffs.