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The Malik Report

Kerry Fraser writes column, blogger misunderstands it

Update: Well, every reader says that I've got it wrong in my interpetation of Fraser's commentary, so...Readers are right?

Since the Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane scored the 2-1 goal (in the Red Wings' 3-1 victory last night) after Johan Franzen was boarded at the opposite end of the ice by Niklas Hjamarsson, but were denied another when Viktor Stalberg's shot and game-tying goal on Jimmy Howard was negated because the referees deemed Andrew Shaw to be interfering with Jimmy Howard's ability to make a save, the media's pounced on the situation and has addressed the situation in predictable talking-out-of-the-ivory-tower-to-those-uninformed, biased-boobs-who-happen-to-pay-their-salaries fashion:

They've insisted that the referees' decision to allow Franzen to be boarded and play to continue is "part of the game," but that their similarly discretionary call regarding ye olde "coincidental interference," which Wings fans are far too familiar with thanks to Tomas Holmstrom's tenure with the team, has no place in the game, and that the denial of the Hawks' 2-2 goal was a great travesty marring the integrity of the game (with all the requisite tsk-tsking of Red Wings fans as biased and conspiratorial for daring to be subjective, and thus less-informed than superiorly impartial scribes, included)

As you might expect, former referee and TSN correspondent Kerry Fraser weighed in on the situation. Not-so-surprisingly, Fraser agrees with both refs' calls (or non-calls, as it were), [edit: though he leaves a significant margin for, "But, you could also suggest..." error]:

The Referee's decision to disallow Andrew Shaw's goal could be supported under the "letter of the law/rule"!

As I looked at this play (video link), the only contact between Jimmy Howard and Shaw was initiated by the Wings goalkeeper when he chopped at Shaw's skates a couple of times once the Hawk ventured into the top of the blue paint and in advance of the shot on goal. It is also true that there was minor contact between Shaw and the Detroit defenceman as the two players entered the goal crease. It might be worth noting that the Detroit defenceman sealed off any backdoor exit potential for Shaw if the Hawk considered this as an option; which is likely a reach for us to consider but none the less remotely plausible.

Since no contact was initiated or resulted from Andrew Shaw on Jimmy Howard, the single thread under which goalie interference could be determined (again the letter of the rule) is found in 69.3—If an attacking player establishes a significant position within the goal crease, so as to obstruct the goalkeeper's vision and impairs his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. For this purpose, a player "establishes a significant position within the crease" when, in the Referee's judgment, his body, or a substantial portion thereof, is with the goal crease for more than an instantaneous period of time.

I don't really believe that Jimmy Howard's vision was obstructed but it could be said that Andrew Shaw did establish a significant position within the crease. Since you mentioned Tomas Holmstrom, once he was flagged and put on the Ref's radar screen, I have seen more than one goal disallowed when Tomas had his skates clearly outside the blue paint but established a significant portion of his 'rear end' inside the crease and stuck in the face of the goalkeeper! Those calls surprised me at the time they were made. I felt they were an overreaction to the spirit and intent of the interference on the goalkeeper rule. I was likewise surprised by the decision last night to disallow Andrew Shaw's goal last night when Jimmy Howard made the initial save and the rebound deflected off Shaw and into the net.

I won't speculate as to whether the Referee was still thinking about a potential boarding call against Niklas Hjalmarsson nor whether the whistle could possibly have been blown prior to Patrick Kane's goal as Johan Franzen lay on the ice in a heap in the Chicago end zone until well after Kane's goal. Those potential questions could only be answered in the private thought process of the Referee.

What I will offer is that when Niklas Hjalmarsson struck Johan Franzen directly on the numbers of his back from close proximity to the end boards, a boarding infraction occurred. Since Franzen was able to put his hands up as protection against a full face-plant into the boards only a minor penalty for boarding was deserved.

Edit/update: the way I read it, Fraser was suggesting that the spirit of the rule was correct on the non-goal and that hey, the refs make discretionary calls, even if Franzen did get boarded. If I'm wrong I'm wrong. I guess it goes to show you that reading intent and reading intent aren't as easy as they seem.

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Comments

EDJ's avatar

I’m a little confused. The way I see it, Fraser says that although the goalie interference call was legal under the exact wording of the rules, it went against the spirit of the rule:

I don’t really believe that Jimmy Howard’s vision was obstructed but it could be said that Andrew Shaw did establish a significant position within the crease.

I felt they were an overreaction to the spirit and intent of the interference on the goalkeeper rule. I was likewise surprised by the decision last night to disallow Andrew Shaw’s goal last night when Jimmy Howard made the initial save and the rebound deflected off Shaw and into the net.

Further, I think Fraser directly criticizes the non-call on Hjalmarsson:

What I will offer is that when Niklas Hjalmarsson struck Johan Franzen directly on the numbers of his back from close proximity to the end boards, a boarding infraction occurred. Since Franzen was able to put his hands up as protection against a full face-plant into the boards only a minor penalty for boarding was deserved.

It seems more like Fraser disagrees with both referee decisions.

Posted by EDJ on 05/21/13 at 03:36 PM ET

awould's avatar

To me, that reads as a roundabout way of communicating he thinks both calls/non-calls were blown, but that he won’t buck the system by declaring it outright.

Posted by awould on 05/21/13 at 03:37 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I read it as Fraser saying that referee’s discretion is correct in spirit. I’ve edited the title.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/21/13 at 03:39 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

It seems more like Fraser disagrees with both referee decisions.
Posted by EDJ on 05/21/13 at 04:36 PM ET

Absolutely, he does.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/21/13 at 03:40 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Kerry Fraser says referees got non-calls right—maybe—on Blackhawks’ non-goal, goal

Kerry Fraser says nothing of the sort

for shame, George, for shame

Posted by Hootinani on 05/21/13 at 03:51 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

So my interpretation is incorrect then? Um…What do you want me to do with the entry, then?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/21/13 at 04:04 PM ET

SK77's avatar

So my interpretation is incorrect then? Um…What do you want me to do with the entry, then?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/21/13 at 05:04 PM ET

Seppuku, George. Seppuku.

Posted by SK77 on 05/21/13 at 04:36 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

If you still think that your interpretation is right, you’ve done more than enough already and we can just disagree.

Posted by EDJ on 05/21/13 at 04:37 PM ET

Crater's avatar

The way I interpreted what he was saying it after reading it was:


Boarding: Franzen was clearly boarded, but the refs seem to think he could have put his hands up to protect himself while playing the puck and being attacked from behind.  Probably should have been called.

No Goal:  This happened in Holmstrom and I was surprised then because his skates weren’t in the paint, just his Bum.  Clearly the refs were and are being instructed to call this in a very specific way, and they are doing that(aside: and showing surprising constancy!) , even when there is no contact with the goalie to confirm real interference. Maybe it shouldn’t be called goalie interference so that people wouldn’t argue with the call. Either way, it is possible that they called this by the letter as a makeup call from the non-call on the boarding.

He for sure walks the line and makes points on both sides, says a lot of words, but not really expressing a clear opinion. Basically he is the typical ex-company man not looking to piss anyone off.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 05/21/13 at 04:38 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

From my understading, Frazer’s position was “The goalie interference is absurd, but its on the book and it was always called like that on Holmstron”, so I take he agrees with the penalty given on play

On the boarding, I think it’s pretty obvious he would have called a penalty and stopped play on Hawks possession of the puck

Regardless, the best thing about this post, is your title change, George!
Nicelly done!
Hahaha

Posted by Zqto on 05/21/13 at 04:39 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Enough of what Kerry thinks of the calls.  I want to know what his hair thinks!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/21/13 at 05:13 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

It might be worth noting that the Detroit defenceman sealed off any backdoor exit potential for Shaw if the Hawk considered this as an option

then shouldn’t we also consider that it was Bickell who pushed Kindl into the crease and into Shaw?  are refs trained not to watch the play that leads up to the situation, or something?

IMO people are focusing incorrectly on 69.3 which is title “CONTACT inside the crease” - there was little of that.  the correct relevant rule IMO is 69.1: “Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal”

clearly by Shaw’s positioning her impaired Howard’s ability to move freely within his crease.  clear as day. and that is not my opinion, that is the objective reality that anyone can see when watching the video.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/21/13 at 05:14 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Boarding: Franzen was clearly boarded, but the refs seem to think he could have put his hands up to protect himself while playing the puck and being attacked from behind. 

huh?  he clearly said Franzen DID get his hands up to protect himself, and therefore only a MINOR penalty should have been called.  note SHOULD have been called.

What I will offer is that when Niklas Hjalmarsson struck Johan Franzen directly on the numbers of his back from close proximity to the end boards, a boarding infraction occurred. Since Franzen was able to put his hands up as protection against a full face-plant into the boards only a minor penalty for boarding was deserved.

how can “a boarding infraction occurred” be confusing or appear not direct and unequivocal?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/21/13 at 05:16 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Enough of what Kerry thinks of the calls.  I want to know what his hair thinks!
Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/21/13 at 06:13 PM ET

I think you’re out of luck. Kerry Fraser’s Hair used to have a twitter feed, but according to twitter, that account has been suspended. His hair is now off the grid.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/21/13 at 05:30 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

His hair is now off the grid.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 05/21/13 at 06:30 PM ET

gone into hiding with Tim Thomas, obviously

Posted by Hootinani on 05/21/13 at 05:42 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

The goal was disallowed legally, but in a way he’s not particularly fond of.

And Hjalmarsson should have been penalized. Added to make certain people feel better.

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 05/21/13 at 06:36 PM ET

Avatar

I interpret this article to mean the ducks are enjoying early morning tee times!!!

Posted by SlimChance on 05/21/13 at 06:43 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t ever care what Fraser has to say.  He has never, ever, EVER been critical of any decision a ref has made.  Not yet, not that I’ve seen.  He always supports the decision made on-ice, even if it was blatantly wrong.

And that’s a problem, because it’s suggesting refs are perfect and never screw up.  And boy, let me tell you… Kerry Fraser used to reeeaallly screw up himself…

Kerry Fraser is more irrelevant than even most “journalists”, or even the worst rumor slingers.  Kerry Fraser is a guy who was very bad at his job at times, and now wants to tell you how good the guys doing the job are now.  Because who better to pronounce and analyze excellence than a clown who only ever achieved failure himself?...

Posted by Primis on 05/21/13 at 07:42 PM ET

Avatar

Actually, Primis, he disagreed with the on-ice call (and video review that confirmed the on-ice call) regarding Mika Zibanejad’s goal that went off his skate.  Of course, this was an obviously correct call and Fraser is a complete and utter dope for somehow seeing a “distinct kicking motion” by Zibanejad’s.

So, he has gone against the on-ice decision, and was blatantly wrong when he did.

As for the last paragraph of your post, I completely agree, Kerry Fraser is essentially the same as Glenn Healy.

Posted by Garth on 05/21/13 at 08:49 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

Basically he is the typical ex-company man not looking to piss anyone off.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 05/21/13 at 05:38 PM ET

  wink

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 05/21/13 at 08:55 PM ET

Avatar

The more I think about it the more I think this is my favourite blog from that idiot Fraser, because on the Shaw goal he is saying “according to the rule book the ref made the right call…bit I wouldn’t have made it”.  What kind of idiot actually tries to argue that a call is wrong while acknowledging that it is right?

It reminds me of the NHLs BS crack down on long contracts.  They weren’t illegal based on the rules, but the NHL still wanted to punish teams for doing it.

Posted by Garth on 05/21/13 at 09:13 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

No matter what Fraser thinks/rationalizes/conjectues, the end result is the Wings are up 2-1 in the series. Anything beyond that is just a lot of fricking noise.

So, stop the noise and let’s get on with Game 4. It’s the one that will decide this series. And that’s all that matters.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/21/13 at 10:43 PM ET

Avatar

Yet another Malik article crying about something that didn’t go the Wings’ way.  Glad to see “some” of you Wings fans not fall into that trap.  Of course, as you know, this is rarely the case.  Bunch of whiners!

Posted by WingsBlow on 05/22/13 at 07:04 AM ET

Avatar

Bunch of whiners!

YEAH!!!!!!!

Posted by Garth on 05/22/13 at 07:20 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Bunch of whiners!

Coming from someone who does nothing but bitch.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/22/13 at 09:14 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.