NHL can't even get video replay correct

I was watching some of this afternoons NY Rangers-Carolina game in which the Rangers won 2-1 in a shootout. With the game tied 1-1 in the second it Carolina Hurricane goalie John Grahame got caught out of his net when he played a puck from the corner right to a Rangers player. The Ranger player shot the puck at the empty goal and John Grahame appeared to make a spectacular diving save with the puck deflecting off his goal stick, off the cross bar and out. The play went to video replay and the official announcement was ‘no goal as the puck hit the cross bar’. But upon my further review the puck did in fact enter the goal.

This first image shows the puck as it is approaching the goal.

This next image shows the puck just before it passes the goal post.

It isn’t real easy to see but this image shows the puck sitting right in front of Grahame’s goal stick which is clearly inside the goal.

The puck then deflected up, hit the cross bar and out. I have looked at the replay several times and am dumbfounded as to how the video replay judges could come the any conclusion other than the puck clearly crossed the goal line.

Now, some of you might say that, hey, the Rangers won anyway, but we must remember that they won in a shoot out and because of that the Carolina Hurricanes gained an extra point. With the Hurricanes, Rangers, Leafs, Canadiens and even the Bruins all in a fight for the final playoff spot in the east, it is certainly possible that that point could wind up being the difference between the Hurricanes making the playoffs over one of the other teams. There is simply no excuse for having video replay and still getting the solution wrong. Let’s hope that this does not affect the playoff race one way or another but with how close the playoff race is I am afraid it may.

Update: This video may give you a better idea of the non-goal.

Posted in NHL

This article has 6 Comments

  1. David,
    I posted this:
    on Calgary Puck and thought you may be interested in the responses. I didn’t watch this game or record it so I can’t offer any objective opinion one way or the other on this particular game. I can say, though, that I have felt on several occasions, both at games in person and watching them on television that outcomes were affected by application of the rules in an unfair manner. Like someone said in response, it’s a matter of perspective. My gut instinct tells me there is something rotten going on. That is my perspective.

  2. It’s interesting how hockey is the only sport to use video replay to determine the ruling of a play (save for American football, but the coach must decide whether or not to review any given play with a maximum of 2 per game). Basketball only uses replay to determine if a shot got off in time or how much time to add to the clock. Makes sense though, as pucks are shot on average 90-95 MPH, which is far too fast for the human eye to track it in real time. Also, since the puck travels so fast, you think that “Okay, on TV recordings there are 30 frames in a second of video. A play like that happened in about a fraction of a second“, so that’s about 5 frames worth of video that could actually be used to determine this play, which is .163 seconds worth of video. That is not a lot of tiem for even the most skilled video replay judges to see the puck in that 1/6 second if it’s past the goal line or not.

    On the flip side of the coin, this is kind of embarrassing for the league that having the evidence right in front of you. Having evidence favoring one decision isn’t proof enough to rule it a goal?. I watched this on DirecTV (NBC) and was dumbfounded as well. If it were a game like Nashville versus Chicago that Nashville had won in a shootout with a goal like this earlier in the game, it wouldn’t have been as much of an issue. But because that one play is closely intertwined with the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, NHL’s “War Room” in Toronto can’t take anything to chance. If you have the tools to change a call, then make sure that you’re 8,000% sure either way before you make the official call.

    Although as weird as this situation is with the close playoff race, I’m really relieved that NY Rangers won (not just because I predicted them to win, and I finished the week 2nd; 3rd overall as of 5 weeks). It would’ve been sickening if Carolina had won the game if NY Rangers should’ve won it in regulation. That said, none of us knows how hard it is to be a referee. A lot of fans hate refs like Rob Shick and Kerry Frasier. They make all the calls as they see them. I, whose dad is a retired hockey player of 25 years, knows how fast the game is at ice level. The rink looks so small from down low and the play is moving so quickly. It’s really hard for the officials on the ice to get every call perfectly. A season ticket holder for the Los Angeles Kings sitting in the upper concourse above all the action knows that you can see a lot of penalties from up above, or even on television, that the officials don’t call, and vice-versa.

    Nobody gives them a break. Admit it, without referees the rink would be chaos with guys like Sean Avery and Chris Simon skating around slashing whoever gets within 5 feet of them. They get nowhere near the respect they deserve for doing such a fine job keeping the game smooth and keeping it from getting completely out of hand. It’s really annoying to go to a game and see a cross-check at one end of the rink, both referees on the other end, and everybody in the stands booing. Come on, they don’t have a birds-eye view, or eyes in the back of their head. If they can’t see it, then they can’t call it.

    This brings me to another point (sorry for changing this from a discussion about a goal/no goal to a discussion about referees). At hockey games that I’ve been to in the past at Staples Center and the Great Western Forum (both homes of the Los Angeles Kings), I’ve witnessed some plays that had to be reviewed upstairs. At the time of the Kings playing at the Forum, the video goal judge Larry Evangelista, a friend of my father, was upstairs looking at a play. This is a true story, and some information was acquired from Evangelista after the game. It was no goal, as the video accurately indicated, but the fans were grossly against that ruling; so discussed that they threw debris on the ice surface aiming at the referee (also during the time of the One-man/Two-linesman referee system). I don’t see why fans have any hatred towards the referees, especially in this situation. It is not the referees fault that it wasn’t a goal, the puck never went across the goal line. And even if it did and was still ruled “no goal”, it is the video goal judge who gives the ruling to the referee. The goal judge would be the guy who got it wrong, not the referee. So how can you blame him unless he was physically looking at the video?

  3. There is an obvious difference between calling a play during the action where the play happens fast and calling the play with video replay where you can take 5 minutes and look at 6 camera angles to make a call if you like. That is what dumbfounded me about this call. They also seemed to make the call fairly quick. In last nights Calgary-Lightning game they had a goal go to video replay and it took the replay guys what seemed like 10 minutes to call the goal a goal when it was pretty obviously a goal. The puck was obviously under the goalies blocker and the goalies blocker obviously slides more than all the way into the goal. What took them so long and the guys today so short a length of time is baffling.

    As for fans getting upset, much of the time it is just frustration. I remember going to a Sens game last year and the fans booing the referee for calling a penalty on Hasek for playing the puck in the forbidden zone. It was clearly a penalty and it is a must call but they booed the referees anyway.

    That said, there are some legit missed calls like not calling a penalty on Cam Janssen’s hit on Kaberle. That was so clearly a penalty and the ref was only 15 feet away it simply had to be called. But it wasn’t.

  4. The non-call of the goal in this instance has no bearing on the Referees at Ice Level. In this instance the War Room should’ve gotten the call right and informed the Refs on location. Unless of course, as par for my theory, all professional sports are fixed. The league needs the Hurricanes to make the playoffs, it doesn’t need for Carolina to be a Cup Winner that misses the playoffs the next season… that might be embarrassing.

  5. Possibly, though I would think they would also really like the Rangers to make the playoffs too. A Rangers-Devils and/or Rangers-Islanders series would give far better TV ratings and audience exposure than any Carolina series would.

  6. maybe they did not have conclusive evidence that the puck went in. keep in mind if the refs ruled it no goal, they would need CONCLUSIVE proof that the puck has indeed crossed the line. the way it seemed in your pictures it seems the stick is making it hard to see if crossed the line. now the judges have more angles to work on, but in this case the simple overheard camera should give enough evidence. but like i said if they dont have conclusive proof the ruling on the ice stands.

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