The referees for tonight’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal Game 7 between Boston and Washington are Stephen Walkom (#24) and Eric Furlatt (#27).
Working the lines will be Greg Devorski (#54) and Steve Barton (#59).
— Walkom’s one of the league’s most veteran officials. He formerly served as the NHL’s vice president and director of officiating before coming out of retirement in 2009. He’s since worked the 2010 and 2011 Stanley Cup finals.
— Along with Dan O’Halloran, Walkom called the somewhat-famous “infraction free” Game 7 between Boston and Tampa Bay in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.
This was not just a game of clean, breathtaking, exquisite hockey. It was a game of clean, breathtaking, exquisite, and penalty-free hockey.
That’s correct. Neither referee Dan O’Halloran nor referee Stephen Walkom saw the need to raise his right hand to signify an infraction. That’s because no player wished to be the guy whose borderline tripping, slashing, boarding, interference, holding the stick, or any other kind of penalty would lead to a damaging power play. If this meant there was less hitting than one might expect, so be it.
Roughing? Are you mad? Not in this game.
“It was a credit to both teams’ discipline and attention to detail,’’ Boucher said.
“I think the referees tonight let the two teams decide the outcome,’’ declared Bruins mentor Claude Julien. “I thought the referees handled themselves extremely well.’’
— According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first penalty-free playoff game in the last 20 years.
— Walkom’s come under fire this postseason for his involvement in two controversial incidents. The first was the Matt Carkner-Brian Boyle “fight” during Game 2 of Ottawa-New York, the second was not calling a penalty on Raffi Torres for the Marian Hossa hit.
(Note: Walkom worked both those games with fellow referee Ian Walsh.)
— Furlatt’s claim to fame this postseason was working the contentious Game 3 between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. You know, the game that featured 24 minor penalties, six fighting majors, four 10-minute misconducts, three game misconducts and a match penalty.
(For more, read this piece in Sportsnet Magazine from Gare Joyce.)
— Devorski and Barton were the linesmen for Boston’s 4-3 overtime win in Game 6.