Former NHL  referee Kerry Fraser joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to offer his thoughts from a referee’s viewpoint on the Stanley Cup  finals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page .
‘This is not a typical series, certainly not a typical Stanley Cup final,” Fraser said. “We’ve seen such crazy, bizarre things go on, and the officials have certainly been under a lot of scrutiny. There has been some inconsistencies for sure, from my perspective. They need to make sure they are well prepared and call that first penalty that happens, otherwise they’re going to be batting uphill all night.’
Fraser was asked about Game 7s and if the referees don’t call as many penalties as in other games.
‘It’s got to be imagined,” he said of that perception. “The players will dictate what the officials do and how they respond. That being said, the officials have to respond appropriately. I found in most Game 7s, the players just want to play. All the stuff that happened in the previous six games is over, it’s forgotten, now it’s do or die. … This is the kind of game where one call, one penalty can make a huge difference in the outcome of the game.”
When asked about the Johnny Boychuk  hit that knocked out Mason Raymond  for the rest of the series, Fraser said he didn’t feel like it was deserving of a suspension. “The Vancouver fans are furious,” Fraser said. “That was a normal, acceptable kind of play. Twenty seconds in, Johnny fork-hooked the legs of Raymond. It should have been a two-minute hooking or interference penalty. That was it. Once he turned him and their momentum carried him into the boards, it was an awkward position, that’s all it was. There was no suspension deserved.”
Brad Marchand ‘s repeated shots to the face of Daniel Sedin at the end of Game 6 also was a topic of discussion.
‘This is really a telling play, in my opinion, as to the series and moving into Game 7,” Fraser said. “On that particular play, there is absolutely no question that the referee should have assessed at least two minutes for roughing for Marchand, and I probably would have given him a misconduct as well, to get rid of him.
“That being aside, the captain, the leader of that team, he’s a skill player, tremendously skilled player, not a physical guy, but sooner or later you’ve got to throw the gloves down and you’ve got to defend yourself on a play like that, especially when you’re looking at a guy that might be an inch or two shorter than you, you’ve got to step it up. I don’t think Ray Bourque  as a captain ‘ he would never take that kind of abuse, personally.
“But beyond that, nobody came to the aid of Daniel Sedin. He’s their captain, he’s their leader. Where are these guys that would want to stick up and say, ‘Hey, we’re going home, we’ve lost this game, we’re going back home, and they’re not going to do that to us?’ … You don’t let your captain get a rag-doll treatment like that. Either he does it himself ‘ steps it up with the game lost and going back home for the hammer, or somebody’s got to jump in there and take care of business, and that never happened.
“That really tells you what’s going on here. It’s a depleted roster with Vancouver. They’ve got injuries, and they’ve got a suspension. And the Bruins are big and bad and tough.”
Fraser said that diving has been a problem in the playoffs and the referees have not called it as much as they should. He said he was bothered when he realized he had been fooled by an embellishment.
“I absolutely hated it. I took it personally,” Fraser said. “And back when we didn’t have anything to assess on a diver, the only measure that I could extract was to be really stringent and stingy on when he was fouled. I wouldn’t go as far as to compromise the integrity of the game or myself, but if there was one of those, ‘You could flip a coin,’ you can bet that the coin stayed in the pocket and there wasn’t going to be a penalty.
“Now, with the diving penalty that’s available, I don’t think the guys did a very good job along the way in the playoffs. There was far too much of it in every series. And then hockey operations would step in towards the latter part of a series, with the team with their backs to the wall and say, ‘OK, we’re going to clean this up,’ or, ‘We’re going to tighten that up.’ And it was ticky-tacky kind of things, like the diving, like chicken-wing hooks and holds of sticks. And we saw many players draw penalties through those kinds of things, faking. You don’t all of a sudden at the end of a series say, ‘Now we’re going to clean it up.’ The snowball’s gone too far down the hill.’
Fraser said he expects Daniel Sedin to get tougher in Game 7.
‘A player like Sedin, that was rag-dolled by Marchand, is going to step it up tonight, one time,” Fraser said. “If he has to get his nose dirty, I believe he will.”
Asked if he felt the Bruins had the edge heading into the finale, Fraser said, “I absolutely do. The one equalizer here, though, is that Roberto Luongo, who over the course of the playoffs sometimes hasn’t rebounded very quickly from a poor outing, his road goals-against is 8.1. His record at home is 0.67. That’s a huge difference. He’s played really well in that building. So, you’ve got to suspect that if he brings his game, if he has what it takes to overcome the deficiencies he demonstrated in Boston, it’s going to be a heck of a game.
‘Timmy Thomas has been my runaway pick for the Conn Smythe regardless of who wins tonight. Even if the series had ended in Boston, he was still my pick. They guy has been lights out, incredible. I like the way he plays, too. I like the smile on his face all the time. He’s got a light heart, he has a good spirit. I always enjoyed being on the ice with him, but boy, can he play and has he been showing it.”