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Fraser: A look at the disallowed goal in Montreal on Tuesday

Kerry Fraser

11/13/2013 12:23:43 PM

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Hey Kerry,
 
I was watching some of the Montreal vs. Tampa Bay game and have a question regarding the disallowed goal in the second period.
 
If I'm not mistaken, a goal that is missed can only stand after a delayed review if there have been no other stoppages between the goal and the time of the review. If play has stopped and then continued it is tough luck so-to-speak.
 
Am I also correct in by understanding that goaltender interference cannot be the reason to waive off a goal that is under review? The only thing reviewable is whether or not the puck crossed the line and if it did so cleanly off of a player and not the result of being kicked in or gloved into the net, etc.
 
So my question is - how was the goal that was missed because the puck went in and out of the net off of the net camera then reviewed at the next stoppage of play but waived off and deemed "no goal" because of "incidental contact with the goaltender?"
 
While I personally think that goaltender interference should be something that is factored into the review of a questionable goal as it very difficult for the on-ice officiating crew to catch sometimes and even more difficult to make a split second decision as to whether or not the goaltender is trying to sell goaltender interference, regardless, shouldn't this goal have counted for the Lightning?
 
Matt Henschel

Matt:

You are correct in your assertion that an undetected goal must be reviewed at the first stoppage of play. We also know that at the present time goalkeeper interference is not a reviewable offence. If goalie interference were to occur that call must be made exclusively by the Referee(s) on the ice. The four officials can conference following the scoring of a goal where it was suspected that goalie interference might have taken place. We have seen situations where the initial call by the Referee on the goal line has been reversed through the conference process.

If a Referee deemed incidental contact with the goaltender took place even though he did not witness the puck enter the net (undetected goal) and which was subsequently confirmed through video review, there is nothing to prevent that Referee from disallowing the goal based on his initial observations.

On the initial play Referee Mike Leggo was in very good position and focused intently on a battle for position that was taking place between Habs defenceman Douglas Murray and Tyler Johnson of the Lightning in the Montreal goal crease area.  Cary Price was in his set position, square to the puck and shooter when the Habs goalie was bumped from behind by Tyler Johnson through "incidental" contact. The contact caused Price to spin/turn slightly and lose his balance and his ability to properly defend the shot (Goalie interference can occur inside or outside of the crease).

Leggo's primary visual focus was on the potential for goalie interference (which he correctly determined took place) and as such did not witness the hard shot slip past Price and rebound off the net-cam and out as evidenced by the referees emphatic washout signal.  When "incidental" contact takes place and there is the absence of a goal being scored (or detected) play is allowed to continue. The only time the Ref would stop play is if he ruled that goalkeeper interference had been committed for deliberate contact; in which case he would assess a penalty.

Play continued for 32 seconds before the Tampa net was dislodged, whistle blown and video review was initiated to determine if the puck had entered the Montreal net. Referee Leggo took the head set and waited for a determination from the Situation Room. If the verdict was returned that the puck did not enter the net then there would be no further explanation required.

On the other hand, since an undetected goal had been scored Referee Leggo would revert to his initial decision that Tyler Johnson was guilty of incidental contact on Habs goalie Cary Price and appropriately disallow the goal.

The decision to disallow the goal was made exclusively by the Referee and independent of video review. The Situation Room informed Leggo the puck had entered the net. Referee Leggo then informed the hockey world that it had been done so through illegal means (incidental contact of the goalie) which he determined on the initial play and therefore the goal would not stand.

In this situation Referee Mike Leggo and the system currently in place performed to perfection. Like you Matt, I would prefer to see goalie interference become a reviewable offense; not to assess a penalty but to determine the legitimacy of a goal. I would also want the review to take place at ice level and performed by the Referee(s).  I am sure the Refs would welcome the opportunity to personally review the play through video and make the final determination at ice level. After all, that's what they get paid to do.

Well done, Mr. Leggo.