A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Monday, November 07, 2005

LaRue hands Kings the win on Saturday night. Plus: Sean Avery continues to be a very stupid man.

By now, everyone has probably heard of the controversy surrounding the shootout in LA on Saturday night. I'd like to propose that regardless of how many times J-Ro struck the puck, the goal should not have been allowed, and referee Dennis LaRue (a 14 year veteran) should have immediately ruled it "no goal, no review." All the talk that I've heard and read concerns how many times Roenick played the puck, but a look at the rules concerning goalie protection suggest that the goal should have immediately been called "no goal" on the ice without any option for review.

First of all, if you haven't seen the clip of it, here's the highlight package from that game, including the shootout "goal" by Roenick. You'll need to see the goal first. It's hard to tell with that shot whether or not J-Ro played the puck twice, but like I say, it doesn't even matter.

Rule 78 a from the NHL Rulebook says:
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.
Just in case, rule 78 b says:
If an attacking player initiates any contact with a goalkeeper, other than incidental contact, while the goalkeeper is outside his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
If you ask me, Roenick initiated the contact, and Vokoun was inside the crease, so this would fall under 78a.

Wait, though... There's more.

Rule 78 d:
If (i) a goalkeeper initiates contact with an offensive player who is in the goal crease; and (ii) such contact is (a) initiated by the goalkeeper in order to establish position in his goal crease; and (b) results in an impairment of the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.

Even if you can make a case that Vokoun initiated the contact, he was decidedly trying to establish himself in the crease, and the contact impaired him. Even if you have to resort to 78d, still no goal.

Wait... there's EVEN MORE.
You can clearly see that Vokoun was knocked into the back of the net. There's even a rule about that. Rule 78 j states:
In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed. If applicable, appropriate penalties will be assessed.
It certainly is possible, and the replay makes it look like there's a decent chance that Vokoun had the puck lodged under his pad, and the collision with Roenick pushed him and the puck together into the net.

Aside from ALL OF THAT, the video over at TSN.ca has the overhead shot, which clearly shows that J-Ro played the puck twice. No goal. It should absolutely be no goal.

Bad, bad, bad. Bad official!

Of course, LA was already up 1-0 in the shootout, but Nashville was denied their third and final chance because of a bogus goal. Maybe also, they ought to have taken advantage of their power play opportunities to run away with the game early on.
Still though, a bad ruling by a veteran official.

What somehow got overlooked because of all that drama is that Sean Avery was at it again. He was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for viciously checking Simon Gamache into the boards from behind. Gamache, by the way, is Quebeçois (or, as Avery would say, "French") and wears a visor. I think Bettman ought to hand down a multiple-game suspension given Avery's previous comments with specific reference to such players. I doubt very much that his hatred of visor wearing French players and the vicious hit on the defenseless player were coincidental. The hit can also be seen on the TSN highlights of the game.

Decide for yourself, but you've heard my take. If you disagree with me, feel free to let me know where I'm off the mark on either the Roenick goal or the Avery hit.


Brushback said...

Good info, good post.

Bill Purdy said...

You're right on both counts. But it would be more accurate to say LaRue handed the Kings an extra standings point than the win. I think it's an important distinction, because in any game decided in regulation, two standings points are up for grabs. OT and the shootout introduce a third "phantom" point. That's a silly policy, I think. The NHL could remedy it by making a regulation win worth 3 standings points, but I don't think that's gonna happen any time soon.

Perhaps we can say it's just early in the season, and hope that officiating improves as the season goes on. This encouraging little piece appeared in the News & Observer this morning:

MEETING OF MINDS: Erik Cole received a pregame visit from referee Tim Peel before Saturday's game to discuss Peel's diving call on Cole late in Thursday's win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"Pretty classy move," Cole said of Peel's peace initiative.

The call, the second diving penalty of the game on Cole, ended up costing either Cole a goal or Eric Staal a hat trick, depending on how the play was called. Cole had a breakaway at the time and questioned why anyone would dive in that situation."

Cole's classy, too. The anti-T.O. He misses a year of work and he's still cool enough to react positively to a ref who made a questionable call on him.

Sean Avery should receive a minumum 10-game suspension (without pay, bien sûr), as should any player who engages in cheap, dangerous shit like that.

Stormbringer said...

Regarding Sean Avery, I have said it before, and am never afraid to say it again...

Anyone who tries to get Ron Francis to fight is an idiot.

I will never, ever forget how Avery tried to do that very thing during the March 15th, 2003 Canes vs. Kings game.

AND, if Ronnie had been a fighting man, I would have been more than willing to bet that he could kick Avery's punk-ass any day of the week.

JasonSpaceman said...

I haven't watched an NHL game since the refs blew that Roenick-Vokoun exchange. After watching night after night of the Predators being called for phantom penalties and having game-winning opportunities simply handed to the opposition, I don't have any faith in the league's officiating anymore. I have a lot of things competing for my time, and putting in over 2 hours only to watch my favorite team get screwed doesn't rank too high on the list.

Anonymous said...

In hockey, as with any sport, the decisions the officials make is made in a split-second. Do they always get it right? No...nor would any self-respecting sports person expect them to. I would prefer in any sport that an official make a call--good or bad--and stick with it than to second-guess themselves all the time or to have the coaches, spectators, or commentators make the decisions for them. Do we need to have a review of EVERY goal in hockey? Good grief, no....all the sports are getting too reliant on replays. Should there be replays in playoff games where more than a point or two is going to make a difference? Yes....but let's not forget that, just as the players are human and make mistakes, so are the officials. And it's an overused cliche, but if you think you can do a better job on the ice with your split-second decisions instead of in replay after replay after replay, then feel free to strap on the skates, pay the registration fees, learn the rulebook from front to back before you start officiating, and then have at it. Better yet, sit down and have a talk with a 14-year-old who is starting to officiate and try to tell him why you think he needs to get it right every time and why he needs to be perfect when the rest of us don't.


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