Originally created 10/25/98

Adjustment needed for two-ref system

You won't find Denis LaRue and Mark Faucette on any NHL roster. Yet their jerseys will be displayed in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The two were honored after they teamed up to referee an Oct. 16 game between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers. It was the first time in the regular season that the NHL used two referees in a game, beating the Los Angeles-Boston game by a couple of hours.

"It was exciting to have the first one with all of the attention we're getting," Faucette said.

And strange, as far as Faucette was concerned.

"Denis had done a few more games in the preseason than I did with the two-man system, so we had a discussion before the game and came up with techniques we used, but it was definitely different," Faucette said. "Being in the zone and watching (the players) come at you rather than being behind the play -- that was the major difference."

LaRue said positioning is the biggest adjustment.

"I think there are some adjustments we have to continue to make," he said. "We've done things one way all our life. The calling of penalties isn't different, but the positioning and the way you read the play and the reactions to certain things is different."

After 59 games through Tuesday, 46 had been played with one referee and 13 with two. So far, results show that games officiated by two referees have produced fewer penalties and shorter times.

The NHL reports that games officiated by one referee have averaged 2 hours, 40 minutes, as opposed to 2 hours, 34 minutes with two. The average penalty minutes per game: 36.9 with one ref and 36.2 with two.


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