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Fraser: Should Brendan Gallagher's goal have counted?

TSN.ca Staff
1/15/2014 1:56:33 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.

I will keep this very simple. Please explain how Brendan Gallagher's goal was disallowed in Tuesday's game between the Devils and Canadiens.
 
Thank you for your time,
Brad Greuel
 
Brad:

The very simple answer is that, in the collective judgment of the men staffing the NHL Situation Room last night where majority rules, it was decided that Brendan Gallagher used his right skate to kick the puck into the net!

I, like you Brad and many other fans that tweeted their confusion following this decision, am still attempting to find clear evidence of the 'distinct kicking motion' that Brendan Gallagher is claimed to have used to boot the puck into the net. This review further demonstrates the wide differences in judgment that can result from one person to another when making officiating specific decisions.

Since video review is not an exact science, sometimes there is no clear cut right or wrong answer for these men to make. Whenever that occurs, their decision becomes "inconclusive." The call is then thrown back to the referee on the ice for his final decision on the matter; which in almost every case would revert to the ref's initial call. On this play, the decision on the ice was that a legal goal had been scored by Brendan Gallagher.

Once the play went to video review it didn't matter what the referee decided on the ice or what any of us elsewhere thought the call should be. The only judgment that counts is imposed by the men in the Situation Room in Toronto.

I'm not suggesting that video review decisions are easy to make; especially for men that didn't have to make these types of decisions during their playing careers. Some plays are definitely more difficult than others to judge. It is for these very reasons that I continue to suggest video review should be conducted by the referees at ice level. Let them make the final decision since it is in their job description and more specifically what they are paid to do. It is also an added responsibility that I believe the referees would welcome.

I'm still looking for Brendan Gallagher's "distinct kicking motion" when he attempted to one-timer on Lars Eller's centering pass at the top of the goal crease after Martin Brodeur deflected the puck with his blocker. I saw the puck miss the forward motion of Gallagher's stick, hit his shin pad and rest well behind his body mass near his right skate blade and as he battled for position in tight quarters with Devils defenceman Andy Greene.

I'm still looking for that distinct kicking motion as Gallagher rotated his body in a spinning pivot move to reset himself following the wide stance one-time shot attempt. Yes, I do see the puck contact Gallagher's back skate blade positioned well behind his body and through this natural move with Greene on his right shoulder. The puck does 'accelerate' as a result of Gallagher's rotational spin and passes between Brodeur's legs and into the net. I see referee Tom Kowal signal a goal from near perfect position with a very good sightline.

Sorry Brad, you'll have to bear with me as the play goes to video review; I'm still looking for a "distinct kicking motion!"

 
 
 

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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