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Fraser: A look at the disallowed goal in Leafs vs Flyers game

Kerry Fraser

3/10/2014 2:49:45 PM

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Hi Kerry,

I am really confused about something that happened in the game between the Flyers and Leafs last night.  The Flyers scored a goal that was verified immediately by the ref directly behind the net.  He signaled the goal.  But the goal was disallowed apparently when the other ref (who was closer to Argentina then he was the play) called it no goal.  The replay clearly showed it was a goal, and more importantly, in the net BEFORE the whistle.  Now I understand that is not reviewable, but what I don't understand is why the ref behind the net can't just say, "Hey I was right on top of it, it's a good goal".  The explanation provided by the announcers was something akin to the other ref losing sight of the puck.  If that was the case, almost every goal in the NHL could be disallowed by the center ice ref since it is unlikely they would have a very good view of the puck itself from about 100ft away. Thanks.
 
John Berry
 
 
Hi Kerry,
 
During this game, the Flyers had a goal disallowed when the neutral zone ref blew the play dead on a "hold the post" type play.
 
The question is: why is someone that is about 100 feet away blowing the play dead? The ref that could actually see the play signaled goal.

Later in the game, the Leafs scored on a play where the puck was jammed out from underneath the goalies pad, no whistle. There was no way to see the puck from center ice on the Leafs goal, either.
 
Help me understand which game these refs were watching.
 
Brian Mullaney

View the play in question here (17:04, 2nd period).

John and Brian:

While I must admit that we don't often see the back referee kill a play when he deems the goalkeeper has the puck covered, it is well within his authority to do so. Let me explain why I agree with the call made on the ice by referee Dean Morton from his position in the neutral zone.

Both of you are only partially correct when you stated that the referee behind the net, Kevin Pollock, was in position to see the play and then signal a goal once the puck entered the net. The overriding fact is that Leafs goalkeeper, Jonathan Bernier, clearly had the puck covered underneath his blocker and held tight against the post a reasonable time for the play to be considered dead. This "reasonable time" frame is demonstrated by the fact that Bernier initially covered the puck when Matt Read, the Flyer who eventually dislodged the puck, was positioned well behind the net near the end boards and had some distance to travel to the post at the side of the net.

In fairness to referee Kevin Pollock, he had a considerable distance to travel from the opposite side of the net towards the corner and was unable to see that Bernier had the puck covered. By the time referee Pollock was able to assume a position behind the net, Matt Read had already jammed Bernier's blocker with his stick and dislodged the frozen puck. At this point, the referee gained a sightline that allowed him to see the exposed puck which Matt Read knocked into the open corner of the net from the seat of his pants.

Even though back referee Dean Morton was a long distance from the net (albeit much closer than Argentina) he had a view from the open side to where Jonathan Bernier froze the puck with his blocker against the post. From this unobstructed view to the goal and with a broad perspective of the play, Morton would have taken a quick look to determine the sightline that his had partner on the other side of the net in that moment. Knowing that Pollock could not possibly see that the puck was covered from his position, referee Morton's radar intensified once he saw an initial attempt by Michael Raffl to jam at Bernier's glove with his stick and as Raffl was subsequently knocked to the ice by Leafs defenceman Cody Franson.

Knowing that Kevin Pollock had not yet assumed a position to determine the frozen puck, referee Morton's "intent to blow the whistle" would have kicked into high gear once he saw Matt Read jam at Bernier's blocker and expose the puck. Morton's whistle to kill the play is audible just as referee Kevin Pollock moves into position behind the net to signal a goal once the puck crossed the line.

The correct call was made by back referee Dean Morton to determine that the puck had been frozen by the Leafs goalkeeper prior to Matt Read dislodging it with his stick and then knocking the puck into the net. The correct procedure was also followed to the letter when Morton quickly approached referee Pollock to inform him that the puck had been frozen by Jonathan Bernier.

FYI, in an article I wrote on November 28, 2011 I responded to a fan question when Kris Letang of the Penguins dug a frozen puck from underneath the catching glove of Carey Price to score the game winning goal in overtime. The goal line referee was on the opposite side of the net and impossible to detect that Price had the puck covered. My answer in that column was that the back referee near the blue line with an unobstructed view should have blown the play dead prior to or as Kris Letang jammed the puck loose. Click on the link below to see the similarity of these two plays.

Fraser: Discussing Letang's goal and Pacioretty's hit