Sunday, June 20, 2010

Where was the ref?

It took four seconds for the on-ice officials to stop the clock June 9 and whistle play dead after Patrick Kane scored his game-winning, series-ending goal at 4:06 of overtime. This was in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Flyers scored at 15:59 of the third period and were ecstatic about having tied the game. They had momentum going into overtime, and there was a sense in the Wachovia Center that they would score quickly and carry that momentum to Game 7 in Chicago.

Kaner had other ideas. Why did the ref fail to point toward the net, indicating a goal had been scored? When the puck moves into the net out of the neutral zone, a referee positions himself directly behind the goal or just off to one side so he has a clear view of any goal scored. So when Kane scored, was the ref out of position?

No, he wasn't. He was opposite Kane, to the right of the net. He should have been in great position to witness and verify Kane's unbelievable shot from an impossible angle. But right when Kane let it fly, a Flyers player skated straight toward the referee. He moved out of the way and checked the dasherboard behind him, making sure he wasn't in for a collision. Taking his eyes off the puck and the net, the referee didn't see Kane's goal. Thus the goal indicator light stayed dark, and the clock continued to run.

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