The referees for tonight’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal Game 7 between the Rangers and Senators are Brad Watson (#23) and Dan O’Halloran (#13)
Working the lines will be “Mean” Jean Morin (#97) and Brad “B-Rad” Kovachik (#71).
— Judging by his assignments, Watson has been this posteason’s “cooler”.
He was assigned Game 2 of the Detroit-Nashville series (after Game 1 had 17 minor penalties and the infamous Shea Weber-Henrik Zetterberg head smash) and Game 3 of New York-Ottawa (after Game 2 had the Matt Carkner-Brian Boyle attack and Carl Hagelin’s high hit on Daniel Alfredsson.)
— In Sens-Rangers Game 3, Watson and fellow referee Mike Leggo sent an early message by calling two penalties in the first five minutes.
“They were trying to get control of it, and with what’s going on, I don’t really blame them,” Rangers forward Brian Boyle said of the officiating. “You don’t want to go in the box, especially with what’s at stake.”
— O’Halloran’s postseason has been quiet. His most contentious ruling (if you can call it contentious) came in Game 4 of the LA-Vancouver series, when he waved off a goal from Kings forward Brad Richardson.
— That said, this is not O’Halloran’s first rodeo. He came into this year with 74 playoff games worked and was front-and-center during last year’s Stanley Cup finals (most notably in watching the Brad Marchand-Daniel Sedin speedbagging.)
— Not much to say about the linesmen, other than they’re somewhat unfamiliar with this series. Kovachik worked Game 5; Game 7 will be Morin’s first.