Sunday, January 27, 2013

Analysis of Columbus No Goal: Bad Call, and Chicago Wins

The Chicago Blackhawks remain undefeated, and the Referee made the wrong call.

Blackhawks 3, Blue Jackets 2

Let's go the video with 7:25 to go in the second period.  The Jackets are on the powerplay and down by one.

Referee Dan O'Rourke was wrong.  And here's why...

First things first.  This possible goal was NOT subject to video review.  Video review only reviews factual matters. 

Rule 38.4 - Situations Subject to Video Review -

The following situations are subject to review by the Video Goal Judge:
(i) Puck crossing the goal line.
(ii) Puck in the net prior to the goal frame being dislodged
(iii) Puck in the net prior to, or after expiration of time at the end of the period
(iv)  Puck directed or batted into the net by a hand or foot or deliberately batted with any part of the attacking player's body. ...
(v) Puck deflected into the net off an Official
(vi) Puck struck with a high-stick...
(vii) To establish the correct time on the official game clock...
(viii) Establishing "good hockey goals", For example, but not limited to puck going through the mesh...

Again, none of these are matter of opinion questions.  Sure, there is some debate over where a puck might be, so did it cross the line?  But the base is simple, not opinion.  For example, the puck entering the net after the referee deciding the play is dead, even before he blows his whistle.  A puck entering the net before or after a whistle is NOT subject to review.  This goes back to Rule 31.

Rule 31.2 Disputes

"...As there is a human factor involved in blowing the whistle to stop play, the Referee may deem the play to be stopped slightly propr to the whistle actually being blown.  The fact htat the puck may come loose or cross the goal line prior to the sound of the whistle has no bearing if the Referee has ruled the play has been stopped prior to this happening."

So, what happened in Columbus?  The puck clearly entered the net. 

It was disallowed under Rule 78.5 (v). 

"Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee and the appropriate announcement made by the Public Address Announcer for the following reasons:

"...When an attacking player has interfered with a goalkeeper in his goal crease."

This rule alone does not specify what "interference" is.  Luckily, there is a seperate, lengthy explanation elsewhere.  First, interference on a goaltender is specifically the call of the on-ice official and NOT, by Rule 69.1, subject to video review.  So let's dive into the contact inside the crease.

Rule 69.3 Contact Inside the Goal Crease.

"[1] If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. 

"[2] If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. 

"[3] If, after any contact by a goalkeeper who is attempting to establish position in his goal crease, the attacking player does not immediately vacate his current position in the goal crease (i.e. give ground to the goalkeeper), and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. In all such cases, whether or not a goal is scored, the attacking player will receive a minor penalty for goalkeeper interference.

"[4] If an attacking player establishes a significant position within the goal crease, so as to obstruct the goalkeeper’s vision and impair his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.

"[5] For this purpose, a player “establishes a significant position within the crease” when, in the Referee’s judgment, his body, or a substantial portion thereof, is within the goal crease for more than an instantaneous period of time."

So, what's fact and what's fiction?  We've got five paragraphs to look at.  First, neither #18 RJ Umberger or #71 Nick Foligno of Columbus established a significant position within the goal crease, so let's ignore the last two paragraphs.

There WAS contact (dispite the announcers saying there wasn't) by Foligno and the Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.  It is best seen in the overhead, happening at the 47 second mark in the video.  But it was Crawford initiating the contact, not Foligno.  So throw out the first paragraph.
Let's glance at the third.  Foligno immediately vacated the area, so there is no penalty.

The legitimacy of this goal comes in the second paragraph.  Crawford was trying to establish position within in crease.  He was moving from right to left.  Foligno was clearly in the goal crease.  The shot was made on Crawford's glove side.  He was able to fully extend his pads.  He was able to put the glove in a better position.  He was able to defend the goal, even though there was contact inside the crease. 

According to the second paragraph in Rule 69.3, a goal shall be disallowed only if a a goalkeeper iniates contact with his goal crease AND this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal.  Since Crawford was fully able to defend his goal dispite contact with Foligno inside his goal crease, I would argue the goal should have been allowed.

Bottom line:  Did Crawford protest the goal?  Goalies protest all the time.  They only go for the water bottle when they know they have been defeated.  What did Crawford do?  Water bottle.

This was a bad no goal call.  And that's not my just my opinion as a Columbus fan:  I read the rules.

Anyway, the no-goal kept Columbus down by one.  Chicago would add another before a late third period goal by Jacket Artem Anisimov signalled a possible comeback.  Alas, it wouldn't happen.

Major props to the Jackets for not just rolling over, dispite being down by Blackhawk goals and a bad call.  They fought.  These guys are fighters.  Especially Jared Boll who got whistled for a fight and unsportsmanlike conduct soon after the no-goal in the third.
The Blue Jackets will play the Dallas Stars in Columbus on Monday night.