This week, the NHL had its referees miss two goals in two separate games. In both of these games, the puck was clearly in the net, but both goals were waived off because of the now infamous ‘intent to blow whistle rule’. The first blown call was during the Stars – Red Wings game. (Skip to the 2:22 mark to see several replays of the goal in question)
After Brad May takes the shot, you can see the puck skip off the pad of Alex Auld, and stick in the low corner of the net. The worst thing about this call is that it was reviewed by the ‘war room’ in Toronto – where each game is monitored for the sake of reviewed plays like this – and the no-goal call was still upheld.
Mike Murphy, the VP of Hockey Operations for NHL, tried to explain the non-sense review process.
“Blow the horn and get the referee over here. We see a puck in the net that hasn’t been ruled a goal,’ ” Murphy said. “At that point the referee comes over and we have a discussion. They came to us and said, ‘My intent to blow the whistle was there, I have this play dead before the puck crosses the goal line,’ No more needs to be said. Once we hear that, video review is out of the process.”
So instead of the review process actually overturning obvious botched calls, it remains useless in cases like these, where the initial ruling on the ice can’t be questioned. What a joke. Why even have a review process if you’re not going to utilize instant-replay when it can cost teams wins?
Shortly after this debacle, the Maple Leafs endured a similar missed call against Carolina.
Hagman carries the puck into the offensive zone, crashes the net, and gets checked into Manny Legace, right as Mitchell fires the puck into the goal. The puck actually sits in the net two or three seconds before the whistle actually blows. Again, the goal was waived off for the exact same reason – intent to blow.
Look, there’s no point in having a video-review process if the league isn’t going to use it. Much like the ‘foot in the crease’ rule of the last few decades, it’s a marginal procedure that should be done away with before it costs a team a playoff series, or worse. Even when a play is reviewed, the officials don’t actually see the play on video, they simply slap on a set of headphones and let the Toronto war-room tell them how to make the call. Why doesn’t the league follow the same mold as the NFL and place a monitor in the penalty boxes, so that the officials can actually watch questionable calls for themselves?