Saturday, January 16, 2010

Refs Botch Another One

In the wake of the entire Stephane Auger fiasco, this was the last thing the NHL needed; another botched replay that calls the integrity of the game and the sanity of NHL officials into question. The play in question came in the 6th round of the shootout during the 1/16/09 game between the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings. Steve Ott appeared to have slipped the puck under Wings' goalie Jimmy Howard, but referee Rob Martell, in perfect position, very adamantly waived the goal off.

NHL rules state that if a call on the ice is to be overturned there must be substantial video evidence to back up overturning a call. In this case there was none whatsover--just the word of Mike Leggo, the trailing official who claims he saw what no video camera could--the puck crossing the goal line. Here is the play in question:

What is the point of having video replay if it's not going to be used for it's intended purpose? With two teams battling for a very important extra point, assuming the puck crossed the line and going against standard practice, which is substantial video evidence, is absurd. Yet, for the second time in a few days, we have an officiating controversy. Maybe the call was correct, but the point is that we cannot assume a puck crossed the line. It's an injustice to the Red Wings, who for the second time this season have been on the wrong end of, plainly stated, an incorrect call. Coincidentally or not, both games were against Dallas.

I do support the instant replay and getting the call right; but if the replay can't show it, one official who is eighty feet away should not be able to determine a point in the standings, especially when the official who is two feet away in correct position very emphatically said the goal was no good. I'm sure Wings GM Ken Holland will have something to say about this at the next GMs meeting. I think the officials need a meeting, especially after the last few days, to set the record straight and get back to making the correct calls.


-There was plenty of afternoon action on this Saturday, including the Colorado Avalanche bouncing the New Jersey Devils at home, 3-1. The Los Angeles Kings snagged an extra point from Boston in a shootout, 4-3, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied behind three points a piece from Jonathan Toews (2 G, A) and Patrick Kane (3 A) to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-5 slugfest.

-Tobias Enstrom of the Atlanta Thrashers passed legend Yannick Tremblay for the franchise record in scoring by a defenseman. Enstroms 108 career points eclipsed Tremblay's 107 in a 5-3 win over Carolina Saturday night.

-A couple key injuries: Patrick Elias suffered an injury in the Devils loss Saturday. Updates on the severity are expected on Sunday. Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is listed day-to-day with a fractured finger in his catching hand. He did not start the team's final game of a brief west coast road trip in Vancouver Saturday night.

That's all for today; more Nonsense tomorrow.



  1. In the 4-man system, one referee is the "senior" referee and has final say. So one referee CAN overturn the other's. Alternatively, the guy at the net may not have had the best view, and conceded to mike leggo's view.


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