Fraser: Goal calls - to wave or not to wave

Kerry Fraser
4/5/2013 3:57:42 PM
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Hi Kerry,
I have a question concerning goal reviews.
In Thursday's game between the Habs and Jets, Tobias Enstrom had a goal waved off because it was judged that Peter Budaj was interfered with by Blake Wheeler -  even though the video replay clearly showed it was in fact Josh Gorges, his own defenceman that made the significant contact with him.  Then in the Leafs-Flyers game, Philly had a goal allowed even though replays clearly showed that Adam Hall ran into Reimer's stick and turned him around away from the point shot. The Jets goal was waved off immediately and the Philly goal was called goal immediately.
However the thing that struck me the most about both goals was that NEITHER of these goals were actually REVIEWED and both turned out to have replays that showed strong evidence that they should be allowed or disallowed.
So my question is what exactly is the criteria for going upstairs and having a goal reviewed and why weren't these two reviewed?
Aidan Tozer


Hi Aidan:

Let me share Blake Wheeler's post-game quotes from the Winnipeg Free Press with regard to his perceived involvement of the disallowed goal.

"What can you say? You saw the replay," said Wheeler. "I never even touched the goalie, I got out of his way. That's just the way seem to go. You try and get into those dirty areas and get rewarded and they wave it off.

"I was driving to the net, (Bryan Little) had the puck and I was trying to give him an option if he had me back door. He elected to go back to Toby so I stopped and I think (Josh) Gorges' momentum went into me, I backed away and from there the puck went off me and into the net. I don't feel like I ever made contact with the goaltender.

"It is what it is. It doesn't matter anymore."

Blake Wheeler is accurate in a couple of his assertions. Wheeler never touched the goalie (video link) and did manage to get out of the way of Peter Budaj once Wheeler found himself deep inside the goalies blue paint. What Blake Wheeler failed to recognize (or state) was that as he 'drove to the net to get into those dirty areas' it was contact he initiated to the back of Canadien defenceman, Josh Gorges' that resulted in Gorges' bumping and interfering with Budaj. Even as the contact from Gorges on Budaj was taking place Blake Wheeler occupied a significant presence within the Montreal goalie's crease.

The correct call was made by the Referee to disallow this goal under rule 69.1 which states, "If a defending player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by an attacking player so as to cause the defending player to come into contact with his own goalkeeper, such contact shall be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for the purposes of this rule, and if necessary a penalty to the attacking player and if a goal is scored it would be disallowed."  I also share from 69.3, "If an attacking player establishes a significant position within the goal crease, so as to obstruct the goalkeeper's vision and impair his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

Following the contact by Blake Wheeler, Josh Gorges was knocked into the goal crease and never regained his balance as he stumbled into Peter Budaj. While Blake Wheeler was not deserving of a penalty on this play the goal was correctly disallowed.

On the other hand the correct call was not made when Adam Hall of the Philadelphia Flyers skated from behind the Toronto net and made contact with the end of James Reimer's goal stick in spite of the fact that Hall was skating clearly outside of the blue paint. Reimer was within his crease and set to defend against the incoming shot. The only thing that protruded beyond the goal crease makings was the butt end of James Reimer's goal stick.

The answer is again found in portions of Rule 69.1; "Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his position or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper's ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease...For purposes of this rule, "contact" whether incidental or otherwise, shall mean any contact that is made between or among a goalkeeper and attacking player(s), whether by means of a stick or any part of the body." Rule 69.3, "If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

Since Adam Hall skated in a straight line from behind the goal line and slightly outside of James Reimer's crease it would be highly unlikely that a Referee would deem the contact deliberate and assess a minor penalty for goalkeeper interference. The correct call to make at this point however would be to disallow the goal through incidental contact as stated in components of Rule 69.

Aidan, the reason that these plays/goals were not reviewed is also stated in the enforcement of Rule 69 which states, "The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgement of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review."

Interference on the goalkeeper is the most difficult call a Referee has to make for a variety of reasons. It makes little sense that "dirty" goals are allowed to stand when the entire hockey world sees the replay with the exception of the Referee whose judgement on the play remains exclusive.

It is time to let the Referee review this play from a monitor at ice level and/or to allow for a coaches challenge. There is far too much at stake to do otherwise.

Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser is an analyst for the NHL on TSN and That's Hockey 2Nite on TSN2. As one of the league's most recognizable senior referees, he's worked 1,904 NHL regular season games and 261 playoff games during his 37-year career.

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at!

You can also follow Kerry Fraser on Twitter at @kfraserthecall!

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