CBJ 3, Referees 4

CBJNormally, I try not to complain about officiating when a team I’m pulling for loses. Tonight I’ll make an exception, as I’m still nauseous over the horrible display of officiating that cost the Blue Jackets a point.

It is not fanaticism to notice that the officials were clearly in Minnesota’s pocket tonight. The Wild were allowed to commit penalties at will, while Columbus was forced into eleven (!) penalty kills. Hooks, tackles, interference, etc. all happened within inches of referee Tom Kowal, who kept his hands in his pockets, rolled his eyes, and whistled dixie.

And this isn’t just my opinion; I have never seen Rims or Gare (FSN Ohio broadcasters) litterally speechless.

You know, if the Jackets are going to the sin bin anyway, and if they’re going to lose no matter what, they might as well put enforcers like Shelly to work. Boorgaard especially needs a dose of humble pie. Chickening out of a scrap with Shelly, then skating far away from the C-bus bench and turning and taunting them is just pathetic.

“As long as Kowal’s the ref, I can do what I please.”

The icing on the cake was the OT goal given to the Wild. In case you’re just catching up: Minnesota center Wes Walz charged the net, a puck came flying in, got caught in his pants (we think!), and he skated across the goal line. The red light went off, but the goal was quickly, and correctly, waved off. (It’s against the rules to advance the puck across the goal line in your pants. This is what I call the “David-Copperfield-doesn’t-play-NHL-hockey” rule.) Furthermore, video replays simply showed the puck disappear. I mean, it simply disappeared. There was no way to know where the puck was, if it crossed the line, etc.

Now remember, you can’t wave a goal off and then have it count later. Especially when there is no conclusive evidence to the contrary. Especially especially if a player carries it across the goal line in his equipment.

Think that mattered to Toronto? Nope. After a ten minute conversation with the war room, when Kowal no doubt chatted about his desire to give the Wild two points, or his “stupid” contact lens prescription, or his hatred of the Jackets, Toronto agreed to let him give the Wild the goal anyway.

Again, the Jackets are battling for that eighth seed. Every point counts. I suppose this is righteous indignation for a team that just can’t catch a break.

Silver-lining wise (I guess I always have something positive to say), Zherdev showed more improvement tonight than we’ve seen from him in the past month. Nash again continues to make PKs a dangerous time for the opposition. If the Jackets aren’t going to the playoffs, lets hope they make the west central miserable for everyone in the meantime.


  1. I am glad that you posted about this travesty, as I could not stomach it. You are correct…the WIld were given free-will to do as they please on the ice ( The on ethat really steamed me was the penalty to Shelley and the retailatory penalty that happened out in the open when Booledouche punched Shelley in the back fo the head twice). Feel fortunate that you were listening the Rimjob and Gare..I had to listen to the WIld FNS crew, which the equivalent to grown men having a yucky cookie session over there own team for 2 hours or listening to a Euffer UM Broadcast…take your pick.

    FSN Wild Commentator quote of the night…

    “These guys really got their power play going tonight!!”

    No sh!te jerkhead. When you are the power play for the equivalent of nearly half of the game, the power play should be pristine.

    Dont ge me started on the goal in OT. THere were so many things worng with that call it was ridiciulous…

    – Goal waved off by on-ice official
    – Net was moving off of it’s mooring when the apparent goal was scored
    – puck located in the pants of a player, hence not a deflection and cannot be “carried” into the goal by the player.

    It’s amazing that the goal is waved off on the ice…and somehow this is reviewable by the folks in the Toronto Ivory Tower. The rules state that is it not reviewable if the goal is waved off by the on-ice official…it is simple is that. No wonder this game is dying in the US…I have been following since I was a little kid and am still amazed at the inconsistency displayed by guys.

    I sat there last night with my wife and watched this game. When this whole Wes Walz goal thing was getting reviewed, I sat there and listened to the announcers say that there was absolutely no reason that this shouldnt be a goal for Minnhaha. My wife said that we were going to lose because of the announcer said. They showed the replay again and showed all of these points (above) on the replay, but then proceeded to tell her that it doesnt matter because Toronto is not going to let the on-ice call stand…that is what Toronto does…they change things…whenever they want…no matter what the circumstances or censequences…


  2. I have to disagree about the OT goal. I didn’t see the rest of the game so I can’t comment on the officiating throughout, but I did see the OT goal on NHL.com. It was the correct call. Goals get waived off all the time to be counted after video review, with conclusive evidence.

    Walz did not deliberately carry the puck into the net, it was shot towards the net and became lodged in his pants as Walz drove towards the net and he fell into it. There was no intent to deliberately carry the puck into the net, and since the puck was known to be in his equipment and Walz was completely in the net, it was correctly ruled a goal. Same principle as if a goaltender makes a glove save while his glove is completely inside the net. Although the puck cannot be directly seen, it is correct to rule the puck crossed the plane of the goal line.

    If anything, the only error I could determine is that no call should have been made on the ice at all, and the officials should have gone immediately to the review. Then there would have been nothing on the ice to overturn.

  3. UM96/Herringbone –

    Does anyone have a link to the rule at issue here? UM96’s argument is persuasive, if the “intent” of the player is the defining factor… but I wonder if the word “intentionally” is used in the rule we’re speaking about.

    IIRC, the rule states that the puck cannot be advanced over the goal line by an attacking player unless the player uses his stick. This language allows the puck to cross the line if it bounces off a defender, but not if it bounces off of an attacker’s equipment.

    One more thing that you didn’t account for, UM96, was the attacker knocked the net off the moorings, which is supposed to stop play. The net re-seated, and the attacker slid into the goal, but the play is supposed to stop right when he makes contact with the pipes.

    I guess, to me, the goal, while frustrating, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The game should not have been in OT to begin with, had it been officiated competently.

  4. A few more comments on sportsMonkey’s last reply: First, it’s perfectly legal to score goals with equipment other than the stick. Pucks hit attacking players in front of the net and deflect in on shots from the point all the time, and it is also legal to deflect the puck in with a skate by changing the angle of the foot. What is illegal is deliberately throwing the puck into the net using the hand or the arm or kicking the pick into the net. Basically any action where a limb of the body is used to direct the puck into the net by directly extending that limb towards the net.

    I watched to goal again on NHL.com one more time to be sure I had this right regarding the net coming off of the moorings. The reason it popped up momentarily is because Walz is pushed into the crossbar by the Columbus defenseman #25 (watch it yourself if you don’t believe me). Upon considering how the situation unfolded, this is probably why the goal was waived off on the ice, as the official saw the net pop up. However, upon review, it is revealed that this was caused by the defender, therefore a goal is allowed as the defender committed an illegal action to nullify the goal. Which is another reason it is correct to rule a goal. This is why the NHL will count a goal scored if, for example, a player shoots a puck towards an empty net and a defender throws his stick to stop the puck from going in.

    Now, you could very well have a point about the game never needing to go to OT in the first place. Not having seen the rest of the game I can’t comment either way. Needless to say I’m a pretty huge hockey fan 🙂

  5. UM96, I absolutely, (but still respectfully!), disagree with you on your first point.

    You are correct that the rules allow for a goal scored off of a deflection, but in this case, the puck wasn’t deflected. It was caught up in a players equipment, and that player proceeded across the goal line. I guess some could argue what a “deflection” means, which is just semantics. To me, a deflection is a bounce, not when the puck completly comes to a stop and is carried across the goal line.

    Also, the ref’s actions violated rules 80 and 81… As soon as a puck “becomes unplayable,” play is to stop immediately. Also, if the puck “becomes out-of-sight” of the Referee, play is to stop immediately.

    IMHO, a puck hidden in a player’s pants is both “out of sight” and “unplayable.”

    Combine that with the fact that the judge initially disallowed the goal, which technically cannot be reviewed, and the fact that even if it was reviewable there’s no way that evidence was “conclusive,” and you’ll see why this was a comedy of errors.

    Ah, well. Like I said, these things happen, but what stunk about it was the obvious bias the officials had for Minnesota the entire game. Herringbone is correct; this is exactly what’s alienating fans across the league.

  6. First, you guys inspire my post on realignment. Now, video replay.

    What am I going to write about next? 🙂

    Thanks for spawning a little bit of creativity on my part. It’s always fun to hack topics from somebody else.

    Hope you guys had a great New Year!


  1. […] If crushing Buffalo was the main dinner course, then the dessert came on Saturday when the Jackets beat the Wild. We’ve been waiting for revenge since late December… (in case you don’t remember, that was the game referee Tom Kowal gave to the Wild.) The Jackets played with great effort again, Kowal didn’t ref the game, and C-bus pulled out the victory. […]

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