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Fraser: How Price worked Rule 69.3 in his favour

Kerry Fraser
4/21/2014 12:28:50 PM
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Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca.

Hi-ya Kerry,

I find it amazing that with all the bad calls that were made in Game 3 of the Habs-Lightning series, people are up in arms about possibly the biggest call in the game that was one of the few that was correct. Would you please do us all a favour and explain why that goal was justly disallowed?

I really miss having you, Ron, Andy and Don refereeing games. You four were true professionals.

Sincerely,
Bob (a.k.a. Avro Arrow on TSN.ca's comment threads)

P.S. - Please put it in layman's terms as I think that the on-air host may have used terminology that most people aren't familiar with.  LOL

Hey Bob: (a.k.a. Avro Arrow)

I give young referee Francis Charron kudos for having the courage to correctly apply rule 69.3 and disallow the potential go-ahead goal by Ryan Callahan with 4:22 remaining in the second period and the score tied 1-1.

The overriding rational of rule 69 (Interference on the Goalkeeper) is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. There were two instances of goalkeeper interference by virtue of the rule on the play whereby a goal could not legally be allowed to stand if the puck entered the net.

In the first instance Alex Killorn took the puck hard to the net and initiated contact with Carey Price as he attempted to deke and jam the puck into the net. The rotation of Killorn's body and subsequent crash into the back of the net was as a result of his skate to pad contact with Price and not as a result of any back door pressure exerted by David Desharnais. (Check the footage closely!)  In attempting to make the save and as a result of the contact by Killorn the Montreal goalkeeper was knocked beyond his blue paint and was then struck by a falling Desharnais. If the puck were to have entered the net following the contact initiated by Alex Killorn the goal should immediately be disallowed.

As the action continued the referee would only allow a "good goal" once he determined that Price was able to reestablish his position within his goal crease to defend any subsequent shot following this initial contact from Killorn. Price got to his feet and moved laterally across the crease to establish his position and to defend a potential shot by Valtteri Filppula from the left side face-off circle. Alex Killorn was attempting to exit the net behind Price in this same moment and resulted in the second incident of goalkeeper interference inside the crease.

This time however the contact was initiated by Price and not through the actions of Alex Killorn. Nonetheless a violation of rule 69.3 occurred; (Rule 69.3 - If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.) Even though the contact initiated by Price took him deep into 'left field,' it occurred inside the blue paint as Price was "attempting to establish position inside his goal crease" and could only be judged as such by the referee.

Price knows this rule better than most goalies in the NHL and that is why he threw himself into Alex Killorn inside the blue paint. Price has utilized this rule to his advantage on at least three occasions in previous games. I demonstrated a great montage of Price initiated contact inside his goal crease on That's Hockey 2Nite with Steve Kouleas following the Habs-Lightning game. In the footage, Price clearly initiated contact with attacking players inside his crease and in each case the referee immediately disallowed the goal.

Players, coaches, former players and fans don't fully understand the rule application or the standard by which the referees are instructed to enforce rule 69.  Until this "loophole" in the rule is closed referee Francis Charron and his colleagues will continue to enforce it in the same manner that we saw last night in Montreal. The NHL needs to come out in support of Francis Charron and the gusty, correct call he made. You did what is not only expected but demanded of you 'kid'.

In laymen's terms 'Avro Arrow', my best advice to attacking players is to keep out of the blue paint and to especially keep clear of Habs goalie Carey Price

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 cmonref@tsn.ca!


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

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