I present for your viewing this Jack Edwards tirade against the refs, the league, and I assume the institution of government that creates a lawful society in which sports can exist. Edwards is steamed even before a goal is scored by Columbus against Boston Saturday night, as the puck had previously hit the netting. Check this out:
The best part about this is how Edwards is ignorantly ranting about how the missing puck-hitting-netting-event will render everything completely nonexistent once the play is reviewed. You can just feel the karma building over the course of his nearly two-minutes of microphone-monopolizing grievance airing.
Of course, Edwards is wrong from the very beginning because the league can only review the puck's hitting the netting when it goes more or less directly into the goal as a result of the netting impact. This is similar to how a hand pass right before a goal cannot be reviewed--hi, New Jersey Devils--but the league can (and does) review the occasion of a hand directly batting the puck into the goal. Both should be whistled dead, but the league only allows review when the puck goes (say it with me now) directly into the goal.
This should all be ringing a bell now, because...
Back in November, the Stars recorded their first shutout of the year against the Kings at Staples Center. It was a great game by the Stars, as John Klingberg was still in his infancy as our beloved Swedish sensation. Kari stopped the meager attacks mounted by the defending Cup champs, and it was generally a pretty fun time even though I had to pay for parking for the first time in forever.
The salient moment for today's discussion came midway through the game after Jamie Benn scored a goal (we thought) to break out of his scoring drought. (Remember how that was a thing? I'm glad it is not, anymore.) Curtis McKenzie had eight seconds previously fired a shot that was deflected into the high glass behind the net; it turned out that the puck had actually hit the netting above the glass, although none of the officials on the ice did anything about it until Jamie Benn had scored. After the apparent goal, the officials huddled, and noted Stars-archenemy Dave Jackson got on the phone with Toronto to review the goal, which was just utterly baffling to everyone in the building, as Benn's goal was clearly unproblematic. So that made it even more confusing when Jackson's muffled explanation said something to the effect of, "the previous play was not reviewable, as the on-ice officials had already determined that the puck hit the netting prior to the goal." It made no sense to me in the moment, and I was certain that I was witnessing the final game of Dave Jackson's refereeing career. I was wrong.
Here was the official explanation from the league after the game (via Scouting the Refs, who also have a GIF of the puck hitting the netting):
At 7:20 of the second period in the Dallas Stars/Los Angeles Kings game, the puck hit the spectator netting prior to being shot into the Los Angeles net. The four on-ice officials immediately huddled and confirmed the puck went out of play under Rule 85.1, which states: "Should the puck strike the spectator netting at the ends and the corners of the arena, play shall be stopped and the ensuing face-off shall be determined as if the puck went outside the playing area."
When the referee came to video review, he was informed that this is not a reviewable play since the puck did not cross the goal line as an immediate result of hitting the spectator netting. Therefore the on-ice decision stands – no goal Dallas.
The really fascinating thing is that Dave Jackson's crew in Los Angeles essentially did exactly what Jack Edwards wanted the officials to do in Columbus. Even though they all failed to see the puck go out of play, and even though the puck didn't go into the net directly as a result of its hitting the netting, Benn's goal was disallowed after the fact despite the play not being blown dead.
Of course, the explanation in Los Angeles was that the refs had actually determined that the puck had gone out of play, as indicated by the "on-ice decision" language. One certainly wonders why, if that were the on-ice decision, Dave Jackson & Company 1) failed to blow their whistles at any point and 2) bothered to ask for a video review on what was obviously not a reviewable play. My hypothesis then and now is still that Jackson's crew didn't actually see the puck go out of play (although one or more of them surely suspected it had when they lost sight of it), and that the Toronto person on the other end of the phone strongly suggested that Jackson mention that no review had taken place, and that the on-ice officials had ruled all along that the puck had, in fact, left the playing area. Sort of a, "Hey, here's a way you can fix what is technically a non-reviewable play" sort of thing.
So, when you think about it, Jack Edwards really isn't being so ridiculous as all that. The league might have said that they don't review plays like the one in Columbus, but what happened in Los Angeles last month surely showed that they are willing to be creative when it comes to finding a way to make the right call. Kudos, I guess.
My suspicion is that the eight seconds in Los Angeles between the puck's hitting the netting and Benn's scoring a goal was a short enough span of time to allow for a feasible "Oh, the officials kind of knew it went out of play all along, but they just had to all talk about it and call Toronto to chat first." The longer intervening time in Columbus would have made any such creativity patently ridiculous after the fact, and so we are left with a missed call; we're also left with a fantastic Jack Edwards Rant of Pompous Ignorance, and that's a pretty good consolation prize.
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Monday Links are here, but I'll be on the road most of the day, so I don't have time to read them with you today. I hope you enjoy them by yourself.
Gemel Smith and Brett Ritchie both had great games for Texas last night in the Stars' 6-3 victory over San Antonio. Best wishes for Matt Mangene who went to the hospital after blocking a shot. [100 Degree Hockey]
Here are some good notes on the team from Mark Stepneski. Lindy Ruff says that goaltending plans may change, but it sure seems like Anders Lindback might be in for a long winter's nap. [Stars]
Jamie Benn: "It's fun to play good defense." Spread the word, Cap. [DMN]
Make sure you check out Razor's postgame vlog from Saturday's win. [Stars Video]
Mike Heika has one of his best Observations pieces of the year up about the Central Division, and it's worth reading if only for the groan-inducing sentence near the end. [DMN]
What happened to Derek Roy during his time in Nashville that caused him to get waived? [The Hockey Writers]
Puck Daddy has a particularly good Top 10 up: Fan moments of 2014. [Puck Daddy]
Finally, Cam Fowler took down the Canucks in overtime last night on a rebound goal. Say, I wonder if the Stars ever could have drafted Fowler?