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Red Wings didn’t blame Atkinson ‘goal’ for loss to Columbus, but Jimmy Howard delivered a zinger

I have to admire what Niklas Kronwall and Mike Babcock had to say to MLive's Ansar Khan about the absolutely bizarre and--as it turns out--non-reviewable goal "scored" by Cam Atkinson en route to Columbus's 4-2 victory over the Red Wings on Tuesday night, complicating the East's Wild Card race significantly...

“I don’t think any of us knew that was the rule; we can’t blame the refs either,” Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “They went to Toronto and they made the call. I guess that’s the rule. We got to live with it.”

Said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock: “It doesn’t matter what I think. They made a decision. I thought when the net was off the goal didn’t count, but they evidently think our guy pushed their guy in and so it’s a goal. There’s no sense disputing that. We had to get one more goal.”

But I do adore what Jimmy Howard had to say to the AP's Rusty Miller about the kerfuffle:

"I guess it's something to remember here and keep in the back of our minds -- if you knock the net off, just throw (the puck) in there," he said. "It should count."

During my 23 years as a hockey fan, I've seen goals waved off because the "plane of the goal" was dislodged, I've seen endless goals tossed for "incidental contact" that didn't occur (see: Johan Franzen exiting the crease on Saturday), I've seen goals count where players literally shovel the puck into goalies and then shove goaltenders over the goal line (see: Eric Lindros's highlight reel) and I've seen every conceivable interpretation of whether a player was "in the crease" or impeding a goalie's ability to make a save during Tomas Holmstrom's career, but I've never even heard of the rule the NHL's Situation Room employed on Tuesday:

At 6:58 of the third period in the Detroit Red Wings/Columbus Blue Jackets game, the NHL Situation Room initiated a review because the puck crossed the Red Wings goal line. The referee determined that the puck crossed the goal line and that Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith pushed Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson into the net causing the goal post to be dislodged.

According to rule 63.6 "In the event that the goal post is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, prior to the puck crossing the normal positions of the goal posts, the referee may award a goal. In order to award a goal in this situation, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player, the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced, and it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts. The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the goal." This is not a reviewable call. Good goal Columbus.

Given the grabbing, groping, cross-checking, helmet-removing and literal pinning of players to the boards as they attempted to pursue pucks that was let go on both sides on Tuesday--and has been allowed since the Olympic break--A. Issac of Guyism noted that Mickey Redmond was baffled when David Legwand was called for barely tapping Mark Letestu's hands later in the 3rd period:

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Comments

w2j2's avatar

The calls against Bertuzzi, Smith & Legwand were brutal.  Then Miller got his mouth wacked open and guess what?  No call.
These refs were determined to make Columbus win no matter what.

And who were the 3 zebras wearing orange arm bands behind the glass at one end of the rink?

Posted by w2j2 on 03/26/14 at 07:51 AM ET

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And who were the 3 zebras wearing orange arm bands behind the glass at one end of the rink?

Posted by w2j2 on 03/26/14 at 07:51 AM ET

I saw that too, just a few tools sitting around thinking they are cool. Officiating was bad all around, but we should all be used to it at this point.
By the way, I thought the goal should have counted. Smith did push Atkinson into the net and that’s what knocked it off, the puck would have gone in anyway.
The problem here wasn’t the refs, but was Smith who lost the puck in the offensive zone which is why there was a rush the other way.

Smith is just a bad defenseman.

Posted by George0211 on 03/26/14 at 07:59 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

By the rule the puck has to be shot prior to the net being dislodged which did not happen here.  He swept the puck in after he crashed into the net.  Bad call.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 03/26/14 at 08:21 AM ET

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By the rule the puck has to be shot prior to the net being dislodged which did not happen here.  He swept the puck in after he crashed into the net.  Bad call.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 03/26/14 at 08:21 AM ET

3 conditions must be met for the goal to be allowed in this situation:
1.  the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player. - CHECK. Smith pushed Atkinson into the net.

2. the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced. - CHECK. Atkinson was in the process of swiping at the puck as the net was being dislodged.

3. it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts. - CHEKC it was going in no matter what. Howard was out of position.

Posted by George0211 on 03/26/14 at 08:27 AM ET

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I am OK with the goal. Its a tough call but I think is was close enough to be fine.

The call on Legwand…I have no idea. I hate that they call every stick on stick tap as hooking in that situation, but elbows to the head are still ok half the time.

Posted by lancer on 03/26/14 at 08:50 AM ET

Primis's avatar

That’s the first game in quite a while where DET just flat-out got screwed by the refs.

The refs may have decided the wild card race, and that’s wrong.

Posted by Primis on 03/26/14 at 09:01 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

I also noticed like 5 mins later the same player caused another game stoppage for dislodging the net in much the same manner as the “goal”. It seems to be part of his game.

I think the goal should not have counted because he dislodged the net before he took the shot. But that’s over now. Oh well.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 03/26/14 at 09:17 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

just wait til we get the “different” set of rules if we happen to make the playoffs.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/26/14 at 09:26 AM ET

Bent's avatar

I wasn’t so much the goal that stood out to me, I don’t exactly agree with the call, but I can see why it was made.  The problem is that the reffing was so unbelievably terrible the whole game, that it was just another example of a call going against the wings in a game full of them.  The Legwand call was beyond brutal, I was in the middle of cheering his great defensive play when I saw the idiot’s hand go up, and I couldn’t believe it.  And I have never seen so many missed stick calls on the Wings as I have this year.  How does a ref not see Miller blasted in the face?  Or (insert Wing name here) game after game?  They prioritize chintzy calls over legitimate, deserved penalties.

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 03/26/14 at 09:38 AM ET

Curley's avatar

The refereeing was horrible all night for both sides.  It really wasn’t the only factor that caused the Wings to lose.  What’s disappointing is that a lot of Wings fans continue to use that excuse.  It’s amazing that with their injuries the Wings are even in the race.  Lots of credit to Babs and the whole organization to win with the kids they somehow continue to bring in. Excuses diminish that effort and reputation.
It was a great game between two quality teams. 
BTW, at 7-1-1 against the Wings in their last 9 it’s just possible that “Little Brother” has grown up?
“BJs” ?????

Posted by Curley on 03/26/14 at 10:05 AM ET

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Detroit has been brutal in their own end the past two games and are lucky to have gotten a point out of them. Their shoddy defensive zone coverage is only exacerbated by Howard kicking out rebounds into the slot on half of the shots against him. As nice as a win would have been (especially coupled with Leafs and Caps loses), I continue to marvel at the coaching job that Babcock and his staff have done with a bunch of rookies and average NHL regulars.

Posted by godblender on 03/26/14 at 10:47 AM ET

Primis's avatar

The refereeing was horrible all night for both sides.

No, it really wasn’t.  Reffing has been awful both ways for weeks honestly, but last night was awful one-sided.  It hasn’t been that one-sided in some time.

It really wasn’t the only factor that caused the Wings to lose.  What’s disappointing is that a lot of Wings fans continue to use that excuse.

It’s not an “excuse”, it was a tie game and there were completely phantom penalties called against DET and a GWG that should not have counted under any circumstance.  That literally cost DET the game.

BTW, at 7-1-1 against the Wings in their last 9 it’s just possible that “Little Brother” has grown up?

Posted by Curley on 03/26/14 at 10:05 AM ET

No, it’s really not.  They still may not make the playoffs, and still have never, ever won a single game against anyone in their playoff history.  Until they do, they are and will remain nothing.

Posted by Primis on 03/26/14 at 10:58 AM ET

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My problem with the goal is:
1) Atkinson was moving forward on his own volition. Yes he may have been a push, and there wasn’t enough of a motion on Smith’s part too look like he added much force. We’ll never know if Atkinson had enough momentum to knock the net off on his own with out the push. Atkinson didn’t make enough effort to stop, and that is in the rules.

2)His collision with the net minder caused the puck, which was covered, to come loose. They play should have been ruled incidental contact on the goaltender ( I don’t believe it was “incidental”).

3)If the net hadn’t been off Atkinson wouldn’t have had position to put the puck in the way he did as his body is where the initial spot of the goal post lies. So in order to score this goal, the net had to be off.

Posted by StayClassy on 03/26/14 at 11:24 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

My real problem with the goal last night is that it was non-reviewable, but we spent five minutes reviewing it.  So the refs on the ice and the Situation Room in Toronto didn’t know what fuching rule applied when it happened.  Why isn’t every scoring play reviewed?  It wouldn’t take that much time. 

Why even have instant replay when 99% of the instances where the technology is useful are made irrelevant by the on ice call anyway?  It’s so frustrating watching this crap season after season.  The fans don’t like the status quo from what I can tell, and getting the call right after instant replay would take a ton of pressure off the on-ice refs.  How is that not a win-win? 

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/26/14 at 12:44 PM ET

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It was a tough loss to a team we cannot solve for 2 years in a row. I would not blame the refs, but it’s becoming pretty much a norm that our guys are bleeding and losing teeth because if high sticks and nothing is called. I think we can count at least 10 instances this year of blatant high sticks that were not called. And then when Bert’s stick accidentally touches Wiz, they say “you have to be responsible for your stick”. I guess in NHL only DRW players have to responsible for their sticks.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/26/14 at 01:02 PM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

I have to say I’m in the camp that thinks that the Wings were absolutely jobbed by the refs last night.  Like hard to watch kinda jobbed.  But that being said, even if they didn’t, I don’t think that they played well enough to win either.  Would they have won?  Maybe, maybe not.  That’s the funny thing about hockey, being a game of millimeters we’ve all seen games that were won by the “lesser” team.

“the goal” was a weird one though, and if anyone has any insight on this you really have to shed some light on it for me, but why in the hell would that not be reviewable?  That is EXACTLY the type of thing that should be reviewable.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I truly wish there was some other form of televised hockey that I could watch consistently…  Or better yet, a local club to watch.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 03/26/14 at 02:10 PM ET

BJ Dino's avatar

From one of the 3 zebras wearing orange arm bands.

Cool Tool = Blue Jacket Hardo.

Ref Rooney makes correct call according to Kerry Fraiser and other NHL refs = Blue Jacket win which makes them 7-1-1 over last two years against Detroit.

The tables have turned.

Posted by BJ Dino on 03/26/14 at 02:43 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

The Wings were out muscled as usual against the BJs. Without Pav and Z to offset this fact our odds of finishing better than 8th seed are slim.
I will be happy if this group of “skaters” just slips into the playoffs just like last season on one leg.
The refs were lousy last night but the BJs outplayed Detroit overall end to end.
How do the Red Wings not cash in after Bobo leaves after the 1st period due to the flu and McIllcrappy replaces him, jeez.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 03/26/14 at 04:36 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

The tables have turned.

Posted by BJ Dino on 03/26/14 at 02:43 PM ET

There you go, right into the “we have found a way to beat the Wings” - trap. You found the brand new formula for beating the wings, run them and with a lucky reffing, you win. What a smart management the BJs have. Like noone ever has tried this road. Fact is… you need skill to win the Stanley Cup no matter how bad marketing and the hockey gods seem to defy it.  The BJs simply lack skill. It’s not like you’re 20 pts ahead or you are at the top of the league for the last 5 years like the other healthy skilled teams.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 03/26/14 at 06:02 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

By the rule the puck has to be shot prior to the net being dislodged which did not happen here.  He swept the puck in after he crashed into the net.  Bad call.

—John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon

Not quite. There’s the word “or” in the rule:

“... the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal…”

The refereeing was horrible all night for both sides… What’s disappointing is that a lot of Wings fans continue to use that excuse. It was a great game between two quality teams.  —-—- Curley

Hear, hear!

... why in the hell would that not be reviewable?  That is EXACTLY the type of thing that should be reviewable.  - - - bezukov from the kids are alright

What could be reviewed there?

1. Whether the net was on or off? - The ref ruled on ice that the net was off.
2. Whether the net came off due to the actions(intentional or unintentional) of a defensive player or the goalie? - This is not reviewable, but frankly I don’t see how you can look at the replay and not see Atkinson braking-Smith make contact-Atkinson try again to brake-Atkinson make contact with the net… and yet plenty of Red Wings fans seem to think differently from me.
3. Whether the puck would’ve gone in if the net was still on? - That portion was reviewed and it was obviously a “Yes” answer. Regardless of any other parts of the call they always check to see if the puck crosses the goal line.
4. Whether or not Atkinson was in the act of shooting before the net comes off? - This is the second part that couldn’t be reviewed. Frankly I don’t see how you can look at the replay and not see him in the act of shooting… and yet plenty of Red Wings fans seem to think so.

I’m fine with the two “judgements of the ref” being un-reviewable & the two “plain facts” being reviewable. I’d like to see some changes to the review standards, but I see no reason to change anything that came into play last night.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/27/14 at 12:53 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

What could be reviewed there?

1. Whether the net was on or off? - The ref ruled on ice that the net was off.
2. Whether the net came off due to the actions(intentional or unintentional) of a defensive player or the goalie? - This is not reviewable, but frankly I don’t see how you can look at the replay and not see Atkinson braking-Smith make contact-Atkinson try again to brake-Atkinson make contact with the net… and yet plenty of Red Wings fans seem to think differently from me.
3. Whether the puck would’ve gone in if the net was still on? - That portion was reviewed and it was obviously a “Yes” answer. Regardless of any other parts of the call they always check to see if the puck crosses the goal line.
4. Whether or not Atkinson was in the act of shooting before the net comes off? - This is the second part that couldn’t be reviewed. Frankly I don’t see how you can look at the replay and not see him in the act of shooting… and yet plenty of Red Wings fans seem to think so.

I’m fine with the two “judgements of the ref” being un-reviewable & the two “plain facts” being reviewable. I’d like to see some changes to the review standards, but I see no reason to change anything that came into play last night.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/27/14 at 12:53 AM ET

I guess you answered your own question.  You’re making the mistake that I disagree with the call.  I’ve read the rule, I’ve seen the replays, I can live with it.  My point is, I don’t like that the call on the ice is the controlling factor.  Why even have replay if the on ice determination can’t be overturned by it? 

Every scoring play should be reviewed.  Every call should be overturnable by indisputable video evidence.  The fact of the situation is, if the Atkinson goal had not been legal, and the ref counted it, the replay wouldn’t have mattered.  Do you see what I mean now?  What makes the NHL refs infallible?  Why should they be?  It would take a lot of heat off them.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/27/14 at 09:25 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.