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Fraser: The lowdown on the controversial goal on Stalock

Kerry Fraser
4/29/2014 1:23:20 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 am sure you will get a ton of emails on this one. Last night, the Kings went up 2-1 on the Sharks around eight minutes remaining. My question with this goal - Is Justin Williams allowed to hit the goalie with his stick? Can't this be considered goalie interference?

I am a Ducks fan waiting to see my next opponent. I really think the Sharks were cheated here.

The NHL says this type of play is non-reviewable. This excuse just seems like an easy way out from a judgment call.

Thanks,
Jake Kevari

Jake:

The L.A. Kings' 'greasy' second goal should have been disallowed by referee Chris Lee as per rule 69.6 when Justin Williams used his stick to push Alex Stalock, set in a statuesque pose, that resulted in both the puck and the toe of Stalock's left skate to cross the goal line into the net.

It appeared that the referee was purely focused on the puck that became partially visible under the left skate of Alex Stalock after the goalie made the initial save.  If referee Lee taken had taken into account the action of Justin Williams pushing Stalock from the front of the goal crease with his hockey stick or subsequently had the opportunity to utilize video review I would hope that a different decision on the play would have been rendered.

Many fans who follow me on twitter @kfraserthecall (Kings Fans perhaps?) could not comprehend that the action of Justin Williams pushing Alex Stalock with his stick became a goalie interference violation. Language contained in Rule 69 defines 'contact,' whether incidental or otherwise, to mean any contact that is made between or among a goalkeeper and attacking player(s), whether by means of a stick or any part of the body.

Some had even more difficulty accepting that Rule 69.6 applied on this play since Stalock was not knocked completely into the back of the net. Rule 69.6 reads; "In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed."

To simplify this play, Alex Stalock made an initial save on his knees when Robin Regehr shot the puck from the top left side faceoff circle.  Stalock's lower body remained stationary inside the top right side of his goal crease after the puck was gobbled up in his pads. Referee Chris Lee attacked the net straddling the goal line with the whistle in a ready position near his mouth demonstrating some intent to blow the whistle and kill the play; that is until he saw the puck peek out from under Stalock's left skate blade and pad. The ref's body posture and head position indicates that he was intently focused on the puck from this moment forward. Freeze frame that visual picture in your mind for a second!

If in this moment, Justin Williams dove or crashed into Alex Stalock resulting in the puck entering the net, I would think most everyone would agree that "goalie interference" had been committed and the referee should disallow the goal. The exact same 'illegal' outcome was achieved when Justin Williams used his hockey stick to push Stalock within his goal crease and off his set-stationary position which caused both the puck and the goalie's left skate to cross the goal line and enter the net as demonstrated by the overhead net-cam shot. To disallow the goal under Rule 69.6 would be purely academic at this point had the referee been focused more on the action taking place at the front of the net as opposed to the puck. Ideally, the whistle (or intent to blow the whistle) should have been exercised once Justin Williams began pushing Alex Stalock with his stick, if not before!

Jake, video review can only be utilized in eight specific situations as listed in Rule 38.4. At the present time interference on the goalkeeper is not one of them. I have continually stated that referees must have the ability to review their initial decision whenever contact with the goalkeeper is in question. This should be initiated by the officials on the ice, the video goal judge or through a coach's challenge. However the review is initiated, I strongly recommend that a referee(s) makes the final call after personally reviewing the play in question on a monitor in the timekeeper's box. Look for expanded use of video review in some form next season.

We can only hope they get it right.

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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