The officiating in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs has been atrocious. Referees have been unable to control the action, which frequently has been brutal. The fact is, the game as it's played today is too fast and physical for one referee to police. Two eyes can't monitor the actions of 12 players. What the NHL should do is empower at least two of the three on-ice officials—not just the ref—to call penalties.
The NHL should also give referees access to instant replays when the scoring of a goal is in dispute. In Game 6 of the Los Angeles Kings- Calgary Flames series (page 28), referee Denis Morel overruled the goal judge and nullified what would have been the game-winning goal in overtime by Calgary's Doug Gilmour. Replays seemed to show quite clearly that the puck had in fact crossed the goal line. Similar disputes arose several times during the regular season, and most could have been settled by replays. In Calgary's case, the disallowed goal was especially costly: The defending NHL champs eventually lost Game 6 to the Kings and were thereby eliminated from the playoffs.
CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
The PGA announced last week that for the next Ryder Cup matches, to be held in 1991 on Kiawah Island, S.C., Dave Stockton will replace Raymond Floyd as U.S. team captain. The PGA was merely following its standard policy of changing captains before each Ryder Cup, and Stockton is a solid choice.
But it's worth asking if Floyd, captain of the squad that tied Europe 14-14 at Sutton Coldfield, England, last year, should have been replaced. All 12 members of the '89 team wrote to the PGA asking that Floyd be retained—a sign of the team spirit Floyd had instilled. Considering the U.S. hasn't won a Ryder Cup series since '83 and that during that span the European side has stayed with one captain, Tony Jacklin, the PGA might have been wise to stick with Floyd and give the U.S. team some continuity.
HALFWAY TO THE STARS
We just hope that in the NFL draft on April 22, the San Francisco 49ers see fit to choose Mississippi's outstanding linebacker, Tony Bennett.
A CREATIVE PITCH
In 1985, Rick Creehan's first year as coach of the Allegheny College baseball team, the Gators went 31-12 but hit only two home runs. "We had to scratch and claw for every run, and then hold on to leads with defense," recalls Creehan. "We needed to do something to make our kids stronger."
Toward that end, Creehan began having his players hit partly deflated basketballs each day in batting practice. The drill is designed to improve both strength and technique; if a hitter doesn't swing properly, hitting the basketball—pitched overhand from 30 feet away—sends a jolt up through his arms and shoulders. "When you first come into the program, you think it's pretty crazy," says first baseman Don Ericson. "But after the coaches explain the mechanics, it makes a lot of sense."