Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Montreal-Anaheim shootout on Wednesday night, they went to review on what appeared to be a goal. The Montreal goalie's body language was that the puck went in. The shooter appeared to celebrate. They went to video review and the overhead shot (I was watching the Anaheim feed) was repeatedly shown.
You could see the puck hit the first post, then there was a delay, and then you could see the puck come off the second post and trickle along the goal line without going across. Not only was the delay curious, but on double-posters, you can usually see (in the overhead shot) the puck shooting across the goal line towards the second post.
Nonetheless, in the overhead shot, you could not see the puck in the net, or cross the goal line, at any time. In the Ducks' feed, just before the refs announced Toronto's decision, the Ducks broadcast showed a lower side angle shot that clearly showed the puck hitting the stanchion in the back of the net before coming back to the right post.
This view conclusively showed the puck in the net. What happened? I'm guessing Toronto never saw this angle. Even if they didn't see this angle, didn't the overhead replay raise questions and suggest more angles needed to be viewed?
I'm also wondering what the call was on the ice. If the call was a good goal, I don't think the overhead showed enough to reverse the ref's decision. Any insight on what happened would be appreciated.
I watched the Anaheim feed as well and I respectfully disagree with your assertion that a lower side angle shot clearly showed the puck hitting the stanchion in the back of the net before coming back to the right post. In actuality, Kyle Palmieri's shot went post to post and the puck travelled along the goal line before Habs goalie Dustin Tokarski swiped the puck away in disgust. Tokarski only assumed that the puck had entered the net once the shot got past him and he heard the sound of double iron. Once he turned and witnessed the puck dancing along the back edge of the goal line his assumption was that at some point it had entered the net. Since the puck must entirely cross the goal line for a legal goal to be credited (rule 78.4), the overhead camera shot provides the best evidence that Palmieri's shot did not cross the line.
The decision on the ice by one referee (Mike Hassenfratz) was to signal a goal. The other ref (Chris Rooney) did not make a definitive signal and was jumping out of the way of Kyle Palmieri as the Ducks player curled along
the goal line toward the corner after making his shot attempt. I will say that neither referee set himself in "picture perfect" position once they gave Palmieri the signal to commence his shot attempt. Both refs were too far from the net and looking along or from behind the goal line/post once the shot was taken. A quick push to the net from just ahead of the goal line would have been the optimum position from which to determine if the puck crossed the line at any point after striking both goal posts.
In spite of the fact that referee Hassenfratz felt the puck had crossed the line and signaled a goal, video review has the authority to overrule the refs decision. The referee has one quick look at a play from his exclusive angle. Video review has access to all replays that may be available by reason of any telecasts of the game (rule 38.5).
I concur with the decision rendered by the Situation Room personnel to overturn the call on the ice and to disallow Kyle Palmieri's apparent goal given the clear evidence presented through multiple video replay angles; particularly from the overhead camera shot. There are times when an inconclusive verdict is rendered following video review and the referee's call on the ice will stand. This clearly wasn't one of those times.
For those that wish to read on I want to share a story with excerpts from my book, The Final Call, which involved an "inconclusive verdict" from video review after I signaled a goal when I saw the puck completely cross the line after striking the goal post.
The incident occurred in Game 1 of the Toronto Maple Leafs' 1999 playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pat Quinn was the coach of the Leafs and at that time the video-replay official in the arena was authorized to review goals and make decisions - a responsibility that later shifted to the league's war room in Toronto. The series supervisor, Charlie Banfield, sat in the video-replay booth. Charlie is a good friend and was an excellent NHL referee before he took early retirement in 1979 to become a firefighter in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In the second period, the video-review process (in particular, the placement of the overhead camera) failed both Charlie and me. I can still see the play as clearly as though it just happened. I was in perfect position, a half-step ahead of the goal line on the opposite side to where the players' benches were located. At my back was the door where the visiting team exited the ice to get to their dressing room, located right beside ours. From this vantage point, my sightline was never obstructed by the goalpost or the mesh of the netting. The Leafs bench, where Quinn stood, was more than 100 feet away, so it was impossible for Pat to see what I am about to describe.
A Penguin fired a rocket and hit the goal post nearest to me. After striking the post, the puck hit the ice flat and slid along the goal line. Less than halfway across the six-foot span between posts, the puck jumped up on its edge and curled along in an upright position. In a split second, I saw white ice between the black of the puck and the red goal line. I thrust my arm forward, pointing like an Irish setter, to signal the goal. The puck then fell back to flat, once again on the line as it continued to curl and exit the other side of the goal area. No goal light came on—nor should have, as the goal judge's perspective would have prevented him from determining that the puck had completely, if narrowly, crossed the goal line. I had to blow my whistle to halt play, as I was the only one in the entire building who had seen that a goal had been scored. At least, this is until the next day.
After I described the play to Charlie over the phone at the timekeeper's bench, and after extensive review of the videotape, the verdict came back: inconclusive. Charlie apologized and said the overhead camera was positioned so that all he could see was the crossbar. He couldn't see the goal line. It was my call to make on the ice, and I ruled the goal would stand. The Mighty Quinn roared loudly that I had cheated his team that night. The next day, footage shot by an ESPN handheld camera that had been positioned in the corner—behind me and over my shoulder—was broadcast on ESPN's SportsCenter, and it revealed clearly that the puck had crossed the line exactly as I said it had. Even so, Pat would have none of it. He claimed the footage had been doctored.
Back to present, it was wonderful to catch a camera shot of Pat Quinn being honored by the BC Place crowd during the Stadium Game Series between the Canucks and Senators. Pat is a very good person and a terrific hockey mind; even if we didn't often agree.
Have a great weekend everyone.