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I believe officiating in the NHL is inconsistent and arbitrary. Since the "new nhl" began in 2005, with its emphasis on cutting back on obstruction (holding, hooking) fouls, we have seen an explosion of undeserved penalty calls. Before 2005, it was uncommon for a player to be penalized for a foul he did not commit!! There is no doubt today's game is much faster and is therefore a much better product for fans like me. I think one simple directive to officials must be "Don't call what you don't see". If that means more calls are missed, so be it. Too often players, commentators, and fans are left wondering why a foul was called when no foul was committed. Unlike other sports, a single penalty in hockey often determines the outcome of a game. It is too big a factor to be determined arbitrarily.

Also, I think players and teams are conscientiously playing cleaner hockey. Therefore fewer penalties, as per the graphic in the article. That's a good thing. Power plays are formulaic, often relatively boring, and seldom produce the most dynamic goals.

in my opinion, the ideal hockey game would be fast, with lots of great scoring chances, great goal tending, some good clean hard hits, some goals, and no penalties.

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