The website scoutingtherefs.com released the officials for Thursday night’s NHL action, with the crew of Brad Meier, Dennis LaRue, Steve Barton and Jean Morin employed for the Bruins contest at the Detroit Red Wings, puck drop scheduled for 7:30.
There’s great reason for optimism on the Bruins side given tonight’s officials. The biggest stat that jumps off the sheet is LaRue. According to the website, the Red Wings have lost six consecutive games officiated by LaRue, including all five in the 2013-14 season. The B’s were 4-2 when playing under LaRue’s whistle last season. He called 6.3 percent more minor penalties on the road team, below the 8.7 percent average from last season. That said, home teams won 56.1 percent of the games LaRue called last season, tied for 11th out of the 33 officials who called 60 or more games.
Meier, the other man who will have an orange stripe on his sleeve for tonight’s game, favored the visitors in 2013-14. While the Bruins won just two of the five games in which Meier was a referee last season, home teams won just 47.9 percent of Meier-officiated games. He was one of just nine referees to have call more home losses than road losses. He called the highest percentage of minor penalties against the home team among refs who called more than 60 games, at 51.1 percent.
The linesmen are Barton and Morin. The Bruins won 51.2 percent of all faceoffs where Barton dropped the puck in 2013-14, according to the website. The Red Wings won just 47.2 percent of Barton’s draws, well below their success rate of 50.8.