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Fraser: The missed call on Raffi Torres's hit

Kerry Fraser

4/18/2012 4:03:17 PM

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry Fraser wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca!

Hey Kerry,

Love the insight this segment brings. Hoping you could answer the following:

Can the linesmen not call five-minute majors? On the panel you said the officials missed Torres's hit on Hossa in their coverage but there was a linesman standing directly in the vicinity of Hossa when Torres charged him.

Secondly, I have always wondered, when a blown call, like this hit, occurs and the referees miss it, are they given a heads up from the head official (or anyone else) during intermission about it and made known things could get ugly with Torres being allowed to stay in the game?

Thanks,
Jarrett Anderson - Halifax, NS

Jarrett:

Linesmen can report to the referee and call major and match penalties in addition to a double minor penalty for high-sticking where injury results.  Lineman Jonny Murray was on his blue line and can be seen turning his visual focus back into the Hawk end zone prior to the impact on the illegal check delivered by Raffi Torres on Marian Hossa.

He would not have observed the hit but only the end result when the impact was heard and Hossa fell to the ice.

In my first year in the NHL, Hall of Fame linesman John D'Amico told me to know which players were on the ice at all time and to be aware of their individual tendencies. From last night this would include a player such as Raffi Torres that has demonstrated a history of finishing checks hard, high and late!  When players such as Torres or Jordin Tootoo of the Nashville Predators are on the ice all officials' radars have to be dialed up.

The neutral zone was a transitional area of coverage from the back referee (Stephen Walkom) as Hossa carried the puck out of the Hawks zone. This coverage would eventually be passed off to the lead referee (Ian Walsh) as the attack continued toward to the Phoenix half of the ice. Hossa had puck possession in the neutral zone before the red line but had the puck knocked off his stick.  The puck was retrieved by a Hawk player in the middle of the ice and moved toward the Coyotes end.

Referee Walkom would have visually followed Hossa out of the Hawk end zone with the puck. Once Hossa lost the puck and possession was retained by Chicago and advanced toward the red and over the red line the lead referee (Ian Walsh) would assume primary coverage on the puck carried. The back referee (Walkom) would normally keep his focus on any potential finish of a check on Marian Hossa. But a gap in coverage apparently occurred that resulted in a major penalty being missed when Torres launched high (skates off the ice) and made Marian Hossa's head the principal point of contact with Torres shoulder.

The on-ice officials would be advised by the standby referee of the exact details of the play once they entered the dressing room at the end of the period.

The standby official(s) are required to be dressed short of lacing up their skates if called upon through injury to enter the game. They watch the game feed from a monitor in the officials' room and had the advantage of the live action and replays that were shown.

While this knowledge would not affect the missed call, it could certainly provide for an added awareness on any possible retribution Blackhawk players might seek against Raffi Torres.
 

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