NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the refereeing in the Olympics and the U.S. men’s and women’s hockey teams. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
During the U.S. men’s hockey team’s game on Thursday, referees missed on offsides call that led to a goal by Slovakia. Officials also missed calls during the women’s game against Canada.
“I think it will start to get better,” McGuire said. ‘I’m not that concerned. … I think the biggest thing is the caliber of play. The caliber of play in this tournament, to date anyways, both on the women’s side and the men’s side, it has been phenomenal. It’s just been awesome and I do think the officiating will sort itself out.”
The play on the women’s side may be part of the reason why the teams have had trouble with officiating.
“I mean this with all due respect to all the officials in the world, men or women — I really think when Canada and the United States women play, it’s so fast, it’s so frenetic, it’s so physical,” McGuire said. “There are not a lot of women in the world that are prepared to referee at that level, because I’m telling you the referee that worked the other day, she was more in the play than away from the play, and it became pretty hazardous.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On Jonathan Quick in goal: ”Jonathan Quick will be the goalie against Russia — that’s been formally announced by the Americans. … I can say it now, I really think it’s Quick’s tournament to win or lose in terms of how he’s going to play.”
On the Canadian men’s team’s performance so far: “I think there were a lot of nerves. … Patrick Sharp‘s not playing tonight against Austria. Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche will take his place. Dan Hamhuis of Vancouver’s out of the lineup. P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens will go on.
“Mike Babcock‘s not messing around. That was it for dress rehearsal for the Canadians. You put up or you don’t play, and so that’ll be interesting to watch tonight against Austria.”
On if the NHL will allow its players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea: ”When guys have a chance to do something special in their career, they want to do it, and the one thing every hockey player I’ve talked to or every coach I’ve talked to I’ve known for long periods of time, they all want to be in the Olympics. They think the Olympics are awesome. So there’s going to be a pushback from the players association and there’s going to be some pushback from the coaches because everyone wants to be in the Olympics.”