Tonight in Vancouver, the Calgary Flames edged the Canucks 4-3 in a shootout thanks to an Alex Tanguay goal that will be talked about for some time.
Tanguay skated in on Canucks' goaltender Roberto Luongo and propelled the puck into his pads. Luongo stacked his pads, but his momentum carried him into the net. It was a close call as to whether the puck entered the net. The on ice officials declared the play stopped (no goal) but went to a replay for review. Upon review, you cannot see the puck, but a linesman does retrieve the puck from Luongo's pad after he extricated himself from the net.
A reply of the goal can be seen here:
Interestingly, the unwritten rule of determining a goal is seeing the puck in the net. In this case, common sense would dictate that the puck did enter the net, but that will be of no solace to Canucks fans who will be wanting answers. If you cannot see the puck in the net, how can it be a goal?
The NHL rulebook does not specify that you must see the puck in the net for it to be a goal. Is this silly? It sounds crazy. The right call was probably made in this case but it certainly will cause debate.
Here is an excerpt from the NHL rulebook covering goal scoring:
78.4 Scoring a Goal - A goal shall be scored when the puck shall have been put between the goal posts by the stick of a player of the attacking side, from in front and below the crossbar, and entirely across a red line the width of the diameter of the goal posts drawn on the ice from one goal post to the other with the goal frame in its proper position. The goal frame shall be considered in its proper position when at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still inside both the goal post and the hole in the ice. The flexible pegs could be bent, but as long at least a portion of the flexib;e peg(s) are still in the hole in the ice and the goal post, the goal frame shall be deemed to be in its proper position. The goal frame could be raised somewhat on one post (or both), but as long as the flexible pegs are still in contact with the holes in the ice and the goal posts, the goal frame shall not be deemed to be displaced.
The NHL and in particular Mike Murphy who runs the video review in Toronto has come under fire in recent days for a few questionable calls. One ordeal ended with a hefty $50,000 fine to Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi.
ESPN reports in their game review that after both teams failed to score on overtime power plays, Jeff Tambellini and Rene Bourque traded goals in the first round of the shootout before Tanguay's backhand in the final round was stopped by Roberto Luongo.
But Luongo slid into the net with the puck stuck in his pads, requiring a lengthy video review to reverse the call. Although the puck couldn't be seen going over the goal line, the referee announced, "The pad was in the net."
It will be interesting to hear the comments of Canucks GM Mike Gillis and Head Coach Alain Vigneault who preached this year to not be drawn into discussions about officiating and to only focus on what you can control. Canucks fans will remember a controversy in last year's playoffs as well that may have cost the Canucks a game in round one against the Los Angeles Kings.