Having NHL referees mic’d up is the ultimate behind-the-scenes access. Thanks in part to the unprecedented access initially granted for HBO’s 24/7, the league has allowed fans to take more peeks behind the curtain. Usually, it’s with players and coaches. Occasionally, when we’re lucky, it’s with the officials.
Here are referees Wes McCauley and Dan O’Halloran from Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. This duo will again be working the Stanley Cup Final and are expected to officiate Game 2 between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings.
It’s cool to hear O’Halloran warning Boston’s Adam McQuaid about heading to the box. “Hey Mac! Don’t take an extra penalty! Don’t take an extra one,” he cautions. “You got him back plenty of times. Enough.”
Wes McCauley explains to the players on the ice that the after-the-whistle jostling will leave the teams playing 4-on-4. “You had a two-minute power play. You got it, and then [Chicago's Andrew] Shaw punches him in the head.”
Brad Marchand also gets a heads up from McCauley, who tells him, “You’re using your stick on every faceoff. You’re going to get a penalty.” McCauley also lets Bruins’ coach Claude Julien know, saying, “You’d better talk to #63. He’s using his stick on every faceoff, jabbing guys.”
O’Halloran also gives some clarification on the warning he gave to Blackhawks’ forward Andrew Shaw for obstructing the goaltender’s view, warning him that, if he’ caught doing it on a scoring play, a goal will be waved off and he’ll be given a penalty.
Let’s hope the NHL gives us this kind of access in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final as well. McCauley and O’Halloran will be on the ice for Game 2.