Game 4 of the Preds/Sharks series was one for the ages, rip roaring, nail biting, angst driven, hopes raised then crushed. Only to be raised again. A seesaw battle that lasted 110 minutes, it was playoff hockey at its finest with drama, posts, crossbars, thrills, spills, non-calls and oh the little matter of the heist.
The referees and the Situation Room in Toronto blew one for the ages. At 7:34 of the 1st OT stanza, Joe Pavelski appeared to score the winning goal in OT. It was vintage Pavs, going to the net,grabbing the puck from midair placing it on the ice, he’s cross checked by Paul Gaustad and tripped by Shea Weber, making contact with goalie Pekker Rinne and while lying prone on the ice, and shooting it in the net. Yet the ref waved it off saying some tripe about it being batted in with his hand.
LINK TO VIEW THIS INCREDIBLE PLAY:
SITUATION ROOM VIDEO
I knew and the rest of the world knew that the hullabaloo was about Rinne not being able to make a play on the puck, not Pavelski putting it in the net with his hand. This was confirmed upon review, which by the way, was interminable.
The crosscheck by Gaustad combined with the trip by Shea Weberon Pavelski is what caused goalie interference. San Jose was robbed in front of millions of fans right on TV. Remember, this all happened in about 1.5 seconds. For a ref and the situation room in Toronto to determine what Joe Pavelski’s intention was on the play is LUDICROUS! His intention is to score a FUCKING GOAL! This is a hockey play and any interference on the play was caused by not one, but TWO Predator players. Sharks should be up 3 games to 1, instead the series is tied 2-2 and it’s a best of three.
The NHL needs to get a handle on the goalie interference issues when it is caused by the GOALIE’S OWN TEAMMATES! The initials NHL should stand for National Hypocrite League, because the refs failed to uphold a portion of Rule 69 as it relates to goalie interference. Maybe they thought they would be attacked by the Nashville crowd if they made the correct call. I don’t know, but here is the text of the rule:
RULE 69 INTERFERENCE ON THE GOALTENDER
“The overriding rationale of the goalie interference rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
SEE BELOW for the one that WASN’T enforced and so therefore it should have been a good goal:
“If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.”
That’s it, nothing more is said in the rules regarding what happens if the attacking player (Pavelski), is fouled, mugged, whatever, and the puck goes in the net. The implication is that its a good goal if no foul is committed by Pavelski. But it doesn’t say it. In OT, defending players are given carte blanche to commit mayhem on the body of the attacking player in the interest of preserving the tie score. Especially if the attacking player touches their goalie or is about to.
Further verbiage ie: hypocrisy
” 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.”
This is the part of the rule that negated the goal. To finish the text of the rule: “In all such cases, whether or not a goal is scored, the attacking player will receive a minor penalty for goalkeeper interference.”
Pavelski did NOT receive a penalty on the play, so that contradicts Rule 69. 3 However, the ultimate penalty was assessed: The NHL and the refs turned a hard fought victory into a loss.
I’m not whining, just stating the obvious. The Sharks and Preds played for another 40 minutes of intense UFC style combat hockey, mano a mano. The Preds hit a couple of posts, the Sharks hit a post and a crossbar. The Pekker played out of his MIND. G Martin Jones was splendid yet was tagged with the loss.
All I’m sayin’ is this, if you have a rule enforce it. Make it black and white, but have the balls to call it and stick with it. This isn’t the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. Something has to change, National Hypocrite League!