Fraser: A missed call on Lance Bouma's goal

Kerry Fraser
11/19/2013 12:07:03 PM
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Hi Kerry,

During the Winnipeg Jets power play in the third period against the Calgary Flames last night, Lance Bouma ran into Dustin Byfuglien and then ended up with the puck on his stick and in the net. To me it seemed like a pick play. Is that even allowed? Should interference not have been called on the play? What happened there? If the penalty would have been called, it would of been a 5-on-3 for the Jets with a 2-2 score, instead it was 3-2 Flames. I am sure the outcome of the came would of been quite different.
Reg Robert
Good day Kerry,

Watching the Calgary vs. Jets Game - on Calgary's third goal there was a clear obstruction interference on Dustin Byfuglien with Lance Bouma plowing through him and eliminating Byfuglien from the play. Bouma proceeded to the open ice taking a pass from Matt Stajan and scoring a goal.

I would like to know why this isn't interference? Byfuglien never had possession of the puck!

If you could kindly clarify? Thanks!
Luke Guthro

Reg and Luke:

Lance Bouma clearly eliminated Dustin Byfuglien with illegal body contact that directly resulted in Bouma scoring a short-handed goal. Bouma should have been assessed an interference penalty negating any opportunity to score on the play. The Jets should have then enjoyed a two-man advantage for one minute and forty seconds.

A "pick" is defined as the action of a player who checks an opponent who is not in possession of the puck and is unaware of the impending check/hit. A player delivering a "pick" is one who moves into an opponent's path without initially having body position, thereby taking him out of the play. When this is done, an interference penalty shall be assessed. Lance Bouma got away with a text book example of a "moving pick" when he eliminated defender Dustin Byfuglien and then put himself in position  to receive a pass from Matt Stajan and slip the puck past Winnipeg goalkeeper Al Montoya.

This should have been a routine two-on-two play for Dustin Byfuglien and his power-play defence partner Tobias Enstrom to defend against once Matt Stajan carried the puck out of the Flames end zone with Lance Bouma on his left side. Bouma started cutting through the middle of the ice on a cross-route before Stajan gained the blue line. Rather than find an open seam Lance Bouma created one by skating directly at Byfuglien and delivered solid body contact that eliminated the Jet defenceman from the play.

It was next to impossible for Tobias Enstrom to defend against the immediate two-on-one that Bouma created with his illegal contact on Byfuglien. The Flame forward then put himself in perfect position to receive a pass from Matt Stajan at the top of Montoya's crease to score the go-ahead goal.

Both referees must share responsibility for picking up (or missing) the interference that Lance Bouma committed given the cross route that Bouma took entering the attacking zone. The illegal body contact Bouma delivered on Byfuglien occurred in close proximity to puck carrier, Matt Stajan. Freeze-frame the action at this moment to better understand the Referees area of coverage that should take place in this moment.

The lead referee backing into the zone would have been primarily responsible for action around the puck. The trailing referee's primary area of coverage is on all players away from the puck (non-puck carrier) and is required to hustle up ice once the remaining Jet players exit the Flames end zone. Since the Jets were on the power-play there should have been little, if any, need for the trailing ref to delay exiting the Flames zone and hustling up ice to provide coverage and support with Stajan and Bouma on the attack.

The area of coverage and focus of attention for both referees should have melted together once Lance Bouma crossed in front of puck carrier Matt Stajan to deliver an illegal pick on Jet defender Dustin Byfuglien.
The missed penalty resulted in the short-handed goal scored by Lance Bouma.

Sad to say, been there - done that!

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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