Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Close Call of the Week: Butt-Goal - Should it Have Counted?

Monday's Coyotes-Sabres game ended in bizarre fashion 3:47 into the overtime period when Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk's wrist shot, assists to Matt Moulson and Christian Ehrhoff, appeared to come to rest in the back of Coyotes goalie Mike Smith's uniform jersey, just above the pads of the pants, as Smith's rear end drifted into the net, the puck physically crossing the plane of the goal line. The game-ending buttgoal was ultimately confirmed after a (1) conference between referees Greg Kimmerly and Chris Rooney and linesmen Greg Devorski and Brad Kovachik and (2) instant replay review from Toronto's video "war room," allowing Buffalo the 2-1 final. But should the goal have counted?

Puck stays in Referee's sight as butt-goal ends game.
NHL Rule 31.4 grants Referees the authority to "give the final decision in matters of disputed goals" while Rule 38.2 unequivocally states that "every goal is to be reviewed by the Video Goal Judge," who, working in concert with the off-ice official at ice level, will relay the result of the replay review to the referee for final decision. As is generally the case, this review process was correctly executed.

At issue is game flow and the question of when shall the officials rule the puck out of bounds. Rule 85.2 states that a puck is considered unplayable if it becomes lodged in the netting outside of either goal, is frozen between opposing players or if it enters a goal from behind or the side. Rule 85.3 states that "should scramble take place or a player accidentally fall on the puck and the puck be out of sight of the Referee, he shall immediately blow his whistle and stop the play." As the attached image demonstrates, the puck did not fully enter goalie Smith's shirt/pants cradle prior to crossing the goal line; accordingly, play was properly kept alive. Good goal.

Video: Buffalo defeats Phoenix on walk-off #buttgoal win as referee Kimmerly announces the good goal


Lindsay said...

Vice President of NFL officiating disagrees with you.....


Lindsay said...

NFL VP agrees with the batting penalty, it's the possession they say could have been called differently. This site points out that at least one criterion for establishing possession was met and the other was inconclusive based on the tv broadcast.

Hardly the disagreement you make it out to be.

Lindsay said...

He said "we had a possession", which means the batting penalty shouldn't have been called. This site said the batting penalty was correctly enforced because there was not clear evidence that there was possession. The VP of NFL officials disagrees - just saying the logic used to seem it correct on this is, as usual, flawed and skewed to make officials look better.

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