Fraser: Looking into the goal calls in the Kings-Stars game

Kerry Fraser
4/22/2013 4:01:27 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

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

Great column and incredible insight offered into the NHL officials world and on-ice decision making process.
In tonight's game Dallas scored a "controversial" goal. The pass/shot from the point was high and Dallas' player in the slot jumps into the air and plays the puck with his stick above his shoulders. The resulting high stick deflection ends up on goal and Quick made the save and left the rebound off the left side and it was easily put away by the crashing Dallas player.
On the reverse angle Mike Cvik is seen signaling a high stick but then the goal I scored and no call made. Kings colour guy Jim Fox said the play was not reviewable and the goal allowed to stand...this is crazy!  The game should not have been tied 2-2!
Then more Kings and Dallas drama...please explain the wave off off of Trevor Lewis's goal...he didn't appear to shove Aaron Rome into Kari Lehtonen, but the ref waves it off and Dallas comes right back and scores to make it 3-2 Stars. If you take away the high stick goal from earlier and award the Kings goal, the score should be 3-1 Kings!
Derek May
What's your take on -
1) The goal that put Dallas into a 2-2 tie with L.A. on Sunday and -
2) The non-goal situation early in the third, both of which angered the attendees at Staples Center?

Michael S. Wall


Derek and Michael:

It is operating procedure and protocol for the Linesmen to allow the Referees to make the first judgment on high-sticking of the puck and hand passes.  When a questionable play occurs in either of these areas the Referee must acknowledge that he has observed the play with either a signal affirming he deems the play to be illegal (high stick or hand pass) or an immediate washout signal (play determined to be good and allowed to continue). The Linesman can and will provide a signal as Mike Cvik did, but can be overridden by the Referee should he make a clear wave-off allowing play to continue. This is done to avoid the situation where a whistle is being blown by the Lineman when the Referee has determined the play to be legal and is making a wave-off signal.

Lineman Mike Cvik made the correct determination by virtue of his initial high stick signal that the puck was struck with a stick above the normal height of the shoulders by Ryan Garbutt when he jumped in the air and redirected a high deflected shot from the point by Dallas defenceman, Alex Goligoski.

Linesman Cvik and Referee Mike Leggo were the two closest Officials to the play with sightlines from the opposite sides of the ice. Referee Leggo did not make a signal one way or the other so it might be safe to assume that he did not view or react to the play. Short of any of the other Officials (not in camera shot) waving off the play, Linesman Cvik had the authority to stop the play and should have under rule 32.5 Stopping Play—The Linesman shall stop play:

(v) When the puck is struck by a stick above the normal height of the shoulders and this has gone undetected by either of the Referees.

Following the high stick of the puck and resulting goal scored by Antoine Rousell, a conference took place involving all the Officials to determine if the puck had been struck with a high stick by Garbutt.  Jim Fox is correct in his analysis that this play cannot be determined through video review but only by the Officials judgment on the ice. All goals are reviewed and it could only be determined that the puck was put into the net in a 'legal' manner by Rousell and not that he had received the puck illegally through a high stick.

The following quote was made by Kings Captain Dustin Brown in a postgame interview, "The way they (Referees) explained it to me was – if it went in the net it would have been a no goal because it was a high stick above the crossbar, but because it was a high stick above the crossbar but below his shoulder – that's [the reason]," With this information it would be reasonable to assume that either  Linesman Cvik wasn't 100% sure of his initial judgment, was talked out it, or overruled as the Officials collective final judgment determined that the puck was struck below the normal height of Ryan Garbutt's shoulders.

On the Kings disallowed goal Trevor Lewis gave Aaron Rome a short, accelerated shove with his hands and forearms (stick held in front in prone position) approximately 6-8 feet in front of the Kari Lehtonen's goal crease.  The Dallas defenceman was turning slightly at the time of the contact which caused him to lose his balance and fall into Lehtonen knocking the goalie and the puck into the back of the net.

Most will be focused Trevor Lewis' ability to stop at the top of the goal crease without entering the blue paint and failed to focus on the fact that the contact initiated by Lewis occurred a distance in front of the crease.  If you didn't pick up this contact you are left with the illusion that Rome fell into his goalie on his own steam. That was clearly not the case and the Referee correctly disallowed the goal.

C'mon Ref Update Re: High stick of the puck

Allow me to clarify a misconception that a couple of you have posted with regard to eligibility to play a puck struck with a high stick that has subsequently been deflected off a defending player or goalkeeper.

Rule 80.1—When a puck is struck with a high stick and subsequently comes into the possession and control of a player from the offending team (including the player who made contact with the puck), either directly or deflected off any player or official, there shall be a whistle.

Simply put possession and control is required by the non-offending team to eliminate the delayed high stick of the puck call. Therefore a save by the goalie or a deflection off the leg or any part of the body or stick of any player would not eliminate the high stick call. The only way the high stick call could have been eliminated in this case would have been if a player from the LA Kings gained possession of the puck and not simply by deflecting or touching it!


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!

Follow Us!

There's a new Twitter feed that will make you a real insider! Follow to get updates on the latest blogs, best videos and more!

More about TSN on Twitter...

Cabbie on

New York-bred hip hop artist Action Bronson discusses his friendship with Kevin Love, his jumpshot, Mike Napoli's beard, obscure sports references and Derek Jeter's Brand Jordan commercial. More...

He has speed in his DNA, learn more about Olympic champion Donovan Bailey's nephew, Jaden and his success on the gridiron in the latest Powerade 24. More...

© 2017
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television