The theory of more is better will be tested during the Griffins’ annual matinee game on Wednesday, and we’re not referring to the 5,000 school children who’ll screech along to the SpongeBob SquarePants theme during a timeout.
No, tomorrow’s noon start will mark the first time this season that two referees officiate a game at Van Andel Arena.
As part of a five-year officiating development agreement between the AHL and NHL that was announced in early October, the NHL’s two-referee system is being introduced to the AHL on a phased-in basis this season. It is anticipated that 25 percent of the league’s 2010-11 regular season games and all 2011 Calder Cup Playoff contests will be officiated using the two-referee system.
Two of the Griffins’ road games this season have already featured two referees, with somewhat mixed results. On Oct. 10 at Rockford, each team was whistled for 10 penalty minutes, and Grand Rapids lost 5-4 despite converting two of its three power play chances.
The Oct. 24 game in Toronto was different in several respects, as the Griffins incurred twice as many penalty minutes as the Marlies (24 to 12) and had to face 11 Toronto power plays while enjoying only five of their own. But the AHL’s top-ranked road penalty killers allowed just one goal – the only one they’ve surrendered in 39 shorthanded situations away from home – and the league’s top-ranked power play scored twice as Grand Rapids doubled-up the Marlies by a 6-3 count.
So, will two refs at the Van prove to be double the pleasure or twice the hassle? We’ll find out tomorrow afternoon.
Today’s Griffins links:
- Griffins sign Straub to standard contract (Grand Rapids Griffins)
- Getting their Fil (Grand Rapids Griffins)
Alumni news and notes: