November 19, 2009

Game #19 -- Red Wings vs. Stars


Important note before going on: In regards to this game, the Wings did not play well enough to win. The Stars played a good game and deserved the result they got. I mean it. That's not what this is about though.

The bigger picture reveals that you can legally shoot a puck with your stick, the puck can cross the goal line without any interference occurring in the crease, and there is still a possibility that you haven't scored a goal. That's what the NHL laid out for us tonight when somebody didn't have the sack to admit they messed up, and there was no plan in place to prevent this from happening in the first place.

It wasn't even that fairy tale gray area of "intent to blow", where the puck is momentarily out of view and therefore imagined to be dead by the official. It was a shot that crossed the goal line. The goal effectively blew the play dead, not the referee.

I can get over the loss. It's November 18th. Tonight, I'm not worried about giving up valuable points to the Dallas Stars. I'm worried about this repetitive cycle of not just bad calls, but a flawed structure that has been put in place that creates such calls, and does nothing to correct itself. If there isn't a contingency plan in place for when an obvious goal is scored, one that contradicts the call of the referee and overrules his authority because he's too dumb or arrogant to overrule his own mistake, then there is a fatal flaw. Something is fundamentally wrong at its core. And please, don't put us through the fucking charade of calling Toronto between whistles when it doesn't fix something as mesmerizingly incompetent as what went down tonight.

The most intelligent and correct statement about this from a fan's perspective was said by J.J. in Kansas in this thread. Everything about this is spot on:

"My worry, and a worry I’m sure is mirrored by a lot of hockey fans (not just Wings fans), is that the response from the league will get basically no coverage. The fans are the ones who deserve explanation, them being the reason the guys play the game. We’re so used to getting short answers from the league that translate to little more than “screw you”, that the frustration continues to boil over. I’m almost positive the only response that fans get will be something along the lines of “Referee Dennis LaRue intended to blow the play dead when he lost sight of the puck, which was before the goal was called”. The Wings organization might get a secret “sorry, we screwed up”, but that doesn’t help the fans who feel like the league is doing nothing to keep these things from happening in the future. If any member of the media were to come out with a report from Colin Campbell’s office that were to say something along the lines of “This will count against Dennis LaRue when it comes time to choose which refs are called upon for postseason duty”, then I would be exceedingly happy with that statement and might even be able to let something like this go. Unfortunately, all we will get is a vague statement that doesn’t even address the concept of a problem, let alone hint at anything resembling a solution."

I can't wait to hear what the league says tomorrow. It will either be nothing, which would be too embarrassing to comprehend; or it will be a defense of something that has absolutely zero defense to begin with.

Finally, Babs sums it up with his troubled thoughts:

“The guy never meant to blow the whistle. It was a shot, it was in on the shot,” Babcock said. “It’s as dumb as I’ve ever seen.”


Natalie said...

I like J.J.'s take on it, too. None of us can question the "intend to blow the whistle" rule's existence. But the fact that it provides an umbrella over various instances of disallowed goals, especially when fans can rewatch the goal online or with a DVR, is inadequate and archaic. There has to be some sort of reasonable solution to it. Each time this happens, it's swept under the rug until the next time it occurs, and then a whole other fanbase gets upset about it. Enough is enough. No one wants to feel as if a game hinges on what the refs see or don't see, replay be damned. Very frustrating.

Anonymous said...

This never would have happened had there still been a goal judge behind the net to flip on that red light!

Anonymous said...

I suggest a microchip in pucks that triggers the lamp.

J.J. from Kansas said...

I'm going to stay angry about this for a very, very long time. I eventually got over the puck off the netting goal that the Sharks scored (thanks in part to some even-up bullshit), but the Stars don't deserve to have this evened-up on them. the league needs to admit that LaRue was wrong in his intent to blow the whistle or that the rule allowing a ref to call intent to blow needs to be rescinded in the era of replay. Neither has happened so far and I don't expect either will.

LolaLemon51 said...


Triple Deke Staff said...

"eh" is about right, Lola. I'll have something on it in a minute here.

- Tyler

Hockey News said...

THis was such a stellar performance by the Stars. Really like this team when they play this brand of hockey.