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Fraser: You can't score even if whistle is late on penalty

Kerry Fraser
1/28/2014 1:01:35 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 Kerry,
 
I have watched thousands of games but I have never seen this. In the first period of Monday's game between the Penguins and Sabres, Pittsburgh's Tanner Glass accidentally high-sticked a Buffalo player along the boards, then the puck came back to him. He closed in a bit on the net and ripped a shot which Ryan Miller deflected into the corner - there was another Penguin there and a couple of Buffalo players. I am not sure at what point the referee's arm was raised, but Fleury raced to the bench for another attacker. Play was then whistled down and Glass received a high-sticking penalty. My question is: had Glass scored on his shot would the goal have counted? Does somehow the intent to blow the whistle factor in here?

Thanks for any clarification you can offer, Kerry.
 
John Dickie
London, Ontario
 
Hi John:
Perhaps you weren't even born in 1987 but a similar incident happened to 'yours truly' during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that year at the Montreal Forum in the hotly contested Battle of Quebec between the Canadiens and the Nordiques. I raised my arm for a delayed penalty and got caught up watching the follow-up action to where the infraction had occurred and while the "offending team" had possession of the puck. Seeing that my arm was raised to call a penalty with his team in possession of the puck the offending team goalie raced out of his crease for an extra attacker.

A change of puck possession with no whistle blown resulted in an attack toward the unguarded cage and caused the goalie to throw on the brakes half way to his players' bench. Through instinct and a quick replay in my brain I recognized that the offending team had possession of the puck at the time of the infraction and I immediately blew the whistle to assess the penalty. It was a minor embarrassment for me but no damage was done as result of my slow whistle.

That is what occurred in Monday night's Sabres-Pens game when the referee in the neutral zone, looking down the wall, did a great job in catching the quick high-stick by Tanner Glass to the chin of Tyler Ennis of the Sabres. The referee remained focused on Ennis to determine if an injury had resulted as the Buffalo player grabbed his chin. In that moment of time the shot on goal was taken by Tanner Glass of the Penguins. As Ryan Miller made the save and steered the rebound to the corner behind his net Marc-Andre Fleury had already bolted from his net for an extra attacker! The referee, like me, recognized that the offending team had puck possession following the infraction and stopped play to assess the penalty.

If the shot by Glass had gotten past Miller and entered the net the goal would immediately have been disallowed and the penalty assessed as per rule 78.5 (xi)—During the delayed calling of a penalty, the offending team cannot score unless the non-offending team shoots the puck into their own net. This shall mean that a deflection off an offending player or any physical action by an offending player that may cause the puck to enter the non-offending team's goal, shall not be considered a legal goal. Play shall be stopped before the puck enters the net (wherever possible) and the signaled penalty assessed to the offending team. (xii) When the Referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle.

The answer to your question John is clearly found in rule 78.5. Putting aside any minor embarrassment a referee might feel for not blowing his whistle at the appropriate time, no goal can result on a delayed penalty or a delayed off-side call (even after the attacking team has tagged up at the blue line) unless the non-offending team shoots the puck into their own goal.

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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