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Aaargh! The NHL’s quite happy with the wings’ waved-off goals

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun answered several Red Wings’ fans questions regarding the almost-every-game frequent calls against Tomas Holmstrom and any other Red Wing who dares to venture within five feet of the goal crease, and he offered a…predictable answer from the NHL:

awsears25: Goalie interference calls are getting out of control. Nearly every time Tomas Holmstrom is screening the goalie and a goal is scored, it is called back for “goalie interference” even if Homer is out of the crease, has his position set and the goalie hits runs into him. Then, you get the calls like in the Toronto vs. Detroit game when Lupul falls on Howard and swipes the puck in and the goal counted. To quote Ken Daniels, the refs are “consistently inconsistent.” It seems like the real penalty is “No. 96 in front of the goal” when there is no interference.

prashanthiyer: Problem with officiating, Pierre. Last couple of games for the Red Wings have brought back to the surface the goaltender interference call that so often plagues Tomas Holmstrom and the Red Wings. In the Nashville game, the Wings had a goal disallowed despite the fact that Homer’s skates were outside of the crease and Pekka Rinne had space to make a goalie move. However, because Rinne embellished a slight bit of contact with Homer, the ref called a penalty and waved off the goal.

Same kind of deal on Sunday against Minnesota when Justin Abdelkader got pushed into the net, but managed to get out of the net and well outside of the crease before the puck went in, but they still called goalie interference. It seems that if the call is in question at all, the refs will disallow the goal. Has there been any propositions to have the disallowing of a goal by goaltender interference become a reviewable play?

My take: Thank you, awsears25 and Prashanthiyer (one of my favorite readers on the site). I was thinking the same thing Saturday afternoon when that goal was waived off. Now, one replay did seem to show Holmstrom perhaps slightly elbowing Rinne, but that’s not the point. Big picture, if I were a Wings fan, I would fear having good goals disallowed come playoff time because of Holmstrom’s reputation with the men in stripes.

As for adding this type of play to the list of things the Toronto war room can review, I relayed your question to a league source who responded with a “no.” He said the idea has actually been discussed by GMs; but, at the end of the day, the general feeling is there are two referees on the ice and the message to Holmstrom and any other attacking player is to be carefully around the crease.

With all due respect to Mr. LeBrun, what a joke, NHL, what an utter joke.

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Comments

bezukov's avatar

...the general feeling is there are two referees on the ice and the message to Holmstrom and any other attacking player is to be carefully around the crease

I’m all for that, but I want even enforcement.  Lupul’s goal shouldn’t have counted.  If that is rule that is fine with me.  Just make sure if the Wings draw someone like Anaheim it gets called both ways.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/05/11 at 04:19 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I’m all for that, but I want even enforcement.  Lupul’s goal shouldn’t have counted.  If that is rule that is fine with me.  Just make sure if the Wings draw someone like Anaheim it gets called both ways.
Posted by bezukov from Wings Fan in exile: Columbus, OH on 04/05/11 at 02:19 PM ET

Agreed.  Most fans just want consistency.  Calling one goal good and another one bad based on what a ref “thinks” he sees is ridiculous.  Just rule that anytime a player of the opposing team is in the blue paint, pushed or not, no goal.  I personally dislike that but it would be a hell of a lot more consistent than what we have now.

Posted by calquake on 04/05/11 at 04:29 PM ET

awould's avatar

Wings get a weak goalie interference waived off goal at least once in every playoff series. This year will be no different. Prepare to be frustrated.

Posted by awould on 04/05/11 at 04:38 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Holmstrom has a goalie touch him and the goal is waived (and he’s sent to the box occasionally). Lupal LAYS ON TOP OF Howard to play the puck and the goal counts.

Nothing to see here, everything is okay, move along.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/05/11 at 04:44 PM ET

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anytime a player of the opposing team is in the blue paint, pushed or not, no goal

That was essentially the rule the year the Stars won the cup…  and the league still effed it up.  What they can’t rule—and can’t seem to approach—is consistency.  So I don’t think it matters what they actually adopt as the rule.

Posted by BobTheZee on 04/05/11 at 04:46 PM ET

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The Wings make a living off of interference, so why all the whining? They interfere with D when they head down the ice, they pick players off on drives, and they bump goalies constantly. You guys get away with murder and whine about what you get called on. AMAZING!!!

Posted by Majiksea from USA on 04/05/11 at 04:50 PM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

The Wings make a living off of interference, so why all the whining? They interfere with D when they head down the ice, they pick players off on drives, and they bump goalies constantly. You guys get away with murder and whine about what you get called on. AMAZING!!!

Posted by Majiksea from USA on 04/05/11 at 02:50 PM ET

You may feel differently if you watched the games. Keeping your eyes open usually helps.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 04/05/11 at 05:09 PM ET

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Here’s an idea.  Stop using Homer on the powerplay if he can’t manage to be an extra foot in front of the goalie.  I’m sorry, these non-goals are game changing, and in most (if not all) cases it would make no difference if Homer was an extra 12 inches in front of the goalie or not.  So why not give yourself some buffer room, goalies arn’t dumb, they know edging forward into Holmstrom is enough to give them the benefit of the doubt.  If the goalie has to edge a foot forward to hit contact Homer its much more obvious.

I don’t think Homer is really the fault, I think its a niche rule to take a frustrating player out of the game, much like not allowing the goalie to play the pucks in the corners.

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 04/05/11 at 05:14 PM ET

Crater's avatar

You may feel differently if you watched the games. Keeping your eyes open usually helps.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 04/05/11 at 03:09 PM ET

He’s a caps fan, has to keep his eyes shit so he can say he’s never seen Ovie do anything dirty.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 04/05/11 at 05:15 PM ET

awould's avatar

Every fan of the East Conference thinks the West teams play dirty and interfere. They just don’t know what else to think when they see actual defense played.

Posted by awould on 04/05/11 at 05:36 PM ET

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You guys get away with murder and whine about what you get called on. AMAZING!!!

I don’t see the Wings excessively bumping goalies, let alone running them over like many teams do (see Chicago re: Luango).  There’s a big difference between contact with a goalie whose challenging outside their crease and creating a pileup in front of net to generate a scoring chance.

Setting pseudo-picks and forcing players to alter their route to the puck is post-lockout defending 101 for most every team in the league, the Wings are no better or worse than any team when it comes to this.

Posted by dumbasrocks on 04/05/11 at 05:42 PM ET

Crow's avatar

Hommer is always a target of officials.  It doesn’t matter if his butt is hanging over the crease or if he farts on the opposing goalie.  It will still be called interference or no goal.  God forbid they call any of the cross checks or slashes he consistently gets hit with.  The only thing Red Wing fans can be sure about NHL Officiating is that it will be

consistently inconsistent

.

Posted by Crow on 04/05/11 at 05:43 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

If you’re arguing that the Wings haven’t been the victims of more bad goal/no goal calls in the last 5 years or so, particularly in the playoffs, you’re arguing against facts. Simple as that.

It’s not about tin foil hattery. A lot of these calls haven’t even been judgment calls. Replays have consistently show utterly inexcusable, inexplicable goal/no goal calls go against the Wings in just about every series they’ve played since 06-07.

You can argue that that’s because they’ve been involved in more series than anyone else since then, or you can argue against it being a “conspiracy” — both legitimate points — but you can’t argue that it hasn’t happened. It has.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/05/11 at 05:56 PM ET

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Posted by Crow on 04/05/11 at 03:43 PM ET

Hyperbole doesn’t help much. Holmstrom has 16 goals on the year, with basically 2 of those coming off his own shots.  If interference was called as strictly as you say, he’d be out of the league by now.

Also, lets stop complaining about the abuse Holmer takes in front of net (don’t get me wrong, he should get credit for it). Lets face it, he takes a lot of punishment because he makes his living in the one area of the ice where you essentially need to ‘McSorely’ a guy to take a penalty.  When our defense lays a guy out in the crease (rare as that may seem), we call it “clearing the net”, but if its done to Holmer you want a PP? Sorry, disagree.

Posted by dumbasrocks on 04/05/11 at 05:57 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

the general feeling is there are two referees on the ice

Pretty weak argument that can be applied to anything, and really doesn’t mean anything.

Was the puck kicked in?  Well lets not review it because there are two referees on the ice.
Was it directed into the net with a high stick? Let’s not review it since there are two referees.
Did the puck cross the line? Don’t know, but it’s not going to be reviewed since there are two referees on the ice, and whatever they say should be fine.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 04/05/11 at 06:02 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

Lupal LAYS ON TOP OF Howard to play the puck and the goal counts.

Injuring Howard in the process, I might add.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 04/05/11 at 06:05 PM ET

SYF's avatar

With all due respect to Mr. LeBrun, what a joke, NHL, what an utter joke.

Word.  This summer, the league needs to get the refs together in a small room and determine once and for all what constitutes goalie interference.  Of course, it’s never gonna happen as the hubris displayed the NHL front office is any indication.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 04/05/11 at 06:15 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

When our defense lays a guy out in the crease (rare as that may seem), we call it “clearing the net”, but if its done to Holmer you want a PP? Sorry, disagree.

Timing is everything. Engage a player when the puck is out at the point, that’s a penalty. Put him on his ass when the puck is laying in front, A-OK. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to be, and for the most part, the Wings don’t get physical until the puck is around the crease. And even then they’re usually pretty weak about it, often only tying up sticks at best.

But watch a Homer “highlight reel” and tell me when he takes most of the abuse.

Saying Homer needs to be more careful sounds smart and all… if he were actually violating the rules. How do you adjust to “rules” made up on a whim? Is 6 more inches far enough one nite? Howabout a foot? 2 feet? It is up to the officials to call the game as written in the rule book. The guys in stripes are the ones failing at their jobs, not Homer.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 04/05/11 at 06:39 PM ET

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Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 04/05/11 at 04:39 PM ET

I definitely think that the officiating needs to be more consistent with regards to what is interference in the cases we see typically with Homer; ie. what is a crease violation and contact with a goalie who challenges outside the crease.

With regards to the punishment Homer takes, I still think its pretty standard for crease-campers.  To the extent he gets more of it, I think its in large part because his game centers so much around that area.

Oh, and Homer does need to be more careful, but its got nothing to do with his positioning and everything to do with taking stupid offensive-zone penalties.

Posted by dumbasrocks on 04/05/11 at 06:51 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Oh, and Homer does need to be more careful, but its got nothing to do with his positioning and everything to do with taking stupid offensive-zone penalties.

I’ll agree with that. But ya gotta give him credit for his restraint. Taking a beating like that and rarely retaliating seriously enough to deserve a penalty is impressive. It’s just frustrating when he does, cause it usually negates a power play.

He’s taken 24 minors this season.  I’m making the probably wrong assumption that all of the aggressive penalties are the ones he’s taking in front of the net, of which he has 5: 1 roughing, 3 slashing, 1 cross check. Surprisingly only 3 Goalie interference of who knows how many goals were merely waved off. It could be much worse on the penalty front.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 04/05/11 at 07:15 PM ET

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I’ll agree with that. But ya gotta give him credit for his restraint.

Nope smile 

Sorry, like I said, I give him credit for being willing to take the beating necessary to play in that area consistently…but at the same time that’s the only way he’s really effective.  I’m as outraged as anyone when opponents go overboard on him…but most of what he deals with is par for the course.  Again, when you make +80% of your living in the area of play where defenseman are given the most latitude to hit you, restraint isn’t a plus, its a must.

Posted by dumbasrocks on 04/05/11 at 07:22 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

the story goes, Scotty Bowman scolded holmstrom and threatened to send him to the minors if he didn’t stay in his office. I have heard various announcers (non homers) say that no one does it better than Tomas H. i.e. playing in front of the net. 

[

i]Pretty weak argument that can be applied to anything, and really doesn’t mean anything.

Was the puck kicked in?  Well lets not review it because there are two referees on the ice.
Was it directed into the net with a high stick? Let’s not review it since there are two referees.
Did the puck cross the line? Don’t know, but it’s not going to be reviewed since there are two referees on the ice, and whatever they say should be fine.

mark
I think that’s a good point. “oh consistency, thou art a jewel”

wasn’t the"intent to blow rule” invented in a Wings Playoff game two years ago?

Posted by Rdwings28 on 04/05/11 at 08:00 PM ET

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I think it’s funny that you all blame the NHL front office when the article clearly states that it was discussed and dismissed by the GMs.

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/05/11 at 08:24 PM ET

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Posted by jkm2011 on 04/05/11 at 06:24 PM ET

I think its funny that you think the GMs determine the rules.

Posted by dumbasrocks on 04/05/11 at 08:31 PM ET

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What are the rules on changing sweater numbers?

I think Homer should dye his goatee/beard and change numbers.  If the refs don’t recognize that it’s him then they might call him fairly.

Posted by Garth on 04/05/11 at 08:47 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

This is my biggest concern for the playoffs, even more than an occasional injury which I know will happen.  The Wings can overcome the drip, drip, drip of Playoff Injury buildup, but cannot overcome a constant stream of unjustified waved-off goals.

The Wings are a -5 since last Wednesday in the goalie interference battle, a staggering number in such a short time cannot be overcome in the tightly contested playoffs, and nothing will make Gary Sh1thead happier than the Wings exiting the playoffs.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 04/05/11 at 09:39 PM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

So the leagues stance is that it shouldn’t make an effort to easily correct blown calls because blown calls send the right message?  The Onion had the right spoof on league responses to video review, only they were referring to the MLB.  Life isn’t fair, and neither are easily correctable injustices.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 04/06/11 at 03:28 AM ET

Primis's avatar

All you need to know is that the Wings once had to face :21 seconds of the Penguins having Too Many Men on the Ice… on a nationally televised Cup Final, with the national announcers repeatedly pointing it out…

...and that the league has never apologized, never admitted to a mistake with it, and in fact basically ignored the whole thing until it finally went away in the media.

The NHL has NO interest whatsoever in being fair to the Red Wings.  They, in fact, are interested in quite the opposite, screwing them in any way possible.

League officials (on and off ice) have been given the mandate:  “Hurt the Wings”.  If they didn’t and don’t, the Wings would have easily rolled to back-to-back Cups again… and possibly 3 Cups in a row (though I don’t know if last year was going to happen with all the injuries anyways), and would be the favorite again this year.  And the league’s chosen face (Crybaby Crosby) would not have been able to ever win anything, and the Blackhawks would have no fans still.

The Wings stand for EVERYTHING the league hates:  Class (how often is a Wing suspended for something that isn’t missing an All-Star game?  Or how often is someone in the Wings’ front office badmouthed?), Consistency in Excellence on and off the ice, and Dedicated Ownership willing to spend the few dollars up to the cap to actually win every season.  The league does NOT want to reward that.  They want to reward made-up Superstars (that they themselves have invented).  They want to reward owners who aren’t willing to spend to win, so that they can encourage other fringe investors that the league is worth investing in (“Hey, you don’t have to spend tot he cap to win… the floor is good enough!”)..  And above all else they want a forced, mythical parity where every market gets a Cup every 29 years (I say 29 because even the league knows the Leafs aren’t winning any Cup).  In a perfect world for the league, a team barely spending above the cap floor would win a Cup.

Instead the league rewards shoddy ownership (Chicago, Buffalo, Nashville, Pittsburgh), rewards extended poor fan support (Chicago again, Pittsburgh again, Nashville again, and is now trying to reward a sorry Winnipeg fanbase again that couldn’t get it done last time), and being the worst on the ice you can be for as long as you can tank it.

History:  Engineered in and guided by the NHL’s Offices.

Posted by Primis on 04/06/11 at 11:23 AM ET

Bent's avatar

Unfortunatly, I don’t think video review is the answer.  Does everyone actually expect the call to be reversed if they reviewed those Holmstrom phantom calls?  The Abdelkator one this past week may have been different, but I really don’t see toronto reversing any of the Homer no goals.  Don’t get me wrong, I think a tool such as video review should be used as often as it can to get things right, no matter how long a game takes.  Using common sense, there would only be a few reviews per game anyway, max.  I also feel the same about baseball (Armando Galarraga anyone?)

But the problem as I see it is the moron refs letting the call go that way in the first place, not the fact that it isn’t reviewable.

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 04/06/11 at 11:46 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.