The Rangers can’t beat the refs this season

San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) attempts to shoot the puck past New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) in the first period at Madison Square Garden
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 NHL Season has proven to be successful for the New York Rangers thus far. However, the team has encountered numerous obstacles along the way. A significant challenge has been the officiating, which has been quite poor the past few seasons.

While not reaching the level of the NFL’s longstanding referee issues, the NHL’s officiating is approaching a concerning level of inconsistency and inadequacy. There have been a lot of calls that have gone against the New York Rangers, highlighted by three standout games of awful officiating.

Hand Puck nonsense in the Rangers’ loss against Buffalo

Let’s start with a recent game against the Buffalo Sabres. In that game, Blake Wheeler scored a goal that would have put the Rangers in a favorable position. However, the puck hit off Will Cuylle’s elbow and was redirected to Wheeler. The referees ruled it as a hand pass, overturning Wheeler’s goal.

The issue here is that the puck did not touch anywhere near his hand; it hit the elbow, which was clear and obvious. Despite this, the referees decided to call it a hand pass, robbing Wheeler of a goal. This call ultimately changed the game’s momentum in favor of the Sabres, leading to Buffalo winning the game.

Kicking call against Edmonton

That’s not the only instance where a questionable call involving Will Cuylle occurred. Recall the October 26th game against the Edmonton Oilers. Cuylle scored a goal during that match, but it was negated by the officials as they deemed the puck was kicked into the net.

However, upon review, it was evident that the puck was deflected and nowhere near kicked in. Therefore, the goal should have been counted. Fortunately, the Rangers still emerged victorious in that game, but such an erroneous call could have significantly altered the momentum of the entire match.

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That disgraceful Hurricanes game on November 2nd

The worst officiated game this season was against the Carolina Hurricanes. There were so many missed calls in that game that you could write a list on it and it was a dishonorable mention in the standout article. The missed high stick that was on Vincent Trocheck was just horrendous. Heck, even Trocheck was bleeding after that high stick, yet the refs did not call it.

The worst call of that game was the no-call hit that led to Adam Fox being injured. Just look at the video below, Sebastian Aho extended his leg to trip Fox. It was a clear and blatant penalty, yet the refs did not call it.

The questionable officiating that the Rangers have faced this season has been utterly ridiculous, and once again, the NHL should be ashamed of such poor officiating. Despite these challenges, this Rangers team has showcased a skill that’s crucial for success in the NHL: adaptability. They’ve managed to adapt to various situations, including the frustrating officiating, and still find ways to win.

Moving forward, let’s hope they continue winning games and the NHL fixes the officiating problems that they have had for many seasons now.