Thursday, February 9, 2012

No Goal: Yes but wrong ruling

With seconds to spare in their 1-0 shutout loss to the Devils, the Rangers thought they had scored to tie it with 3.3 seconds remaining. However, the officials immediately wiped out Artem Anisimov's would be goal due to goaltender interference on an attacking Marian Gaborik. Not shockingly, this led to a vehement protest from John Tortorella, who refused comment afterwards, not wanting to get another fine.

Truth be told, it was definitely the right call to disallow Anisimov's goal off a Ryan Callahan rebound. However, the ruling itself was incorrect. There are many instances where the refs have split second decisions to make due to the speed of the game. Especially when a desperate team like the Rangers flies up the ice and thinks they tied it. It's a bang bang play not leaving the officials much time.

Was it goalie interference? Hardly. Gaborik was shoved in by Anton Volchenkov while attempting to stop. Replays showed snow as Gaborik put on the breaks. The problem was he was too close to Martin Brodeur and bumped into him. Once hit, the future Hall Of Famer did what he always does, embellishing it to make sure the stripes didn't miss it. Not that they didn't see it. It was clear as day that as Gaborik fell into him, Anisimov was putting away the rebound. So, there was no way it should've counted.

The correct interpretation is 'incidental contact.' A ruling we've seen more and more of due to the protection of goalies. As a matter of fact, the Sharks had a potential tying marker waived off last night due to Patrick Marleau unable to avoid Miikka Kiprusoff.  The proper call was made. Calgary would hold on for a 4-3 win, giving Kiprusoff career win No.300 against the team that drafted him.

Sometimes, the officials have a tough job to do. So, while they did err by sending Gaborik to the box, they still were justified in disallowing the goal. So, when former ref Kerry Fraser says the Rangers were screwed, only in terms of what they ruled. I didn't see it as controversial because you simply can't allow a goal to stand when the goalie has no play on it, which was the case with Brodeur. We've had ones like that go our way plenty this season with Henrik Lundqvist, who never embellishes when he is run. However, it's up to the refs to make the call. That's what they're there for.

Besides, from the sounds of it, the Rangers didn't deserve to win. They were outhustled and hardly tested Brodeur despite the lopsided third period shot total (15-1). The continued struggles on the power play persist. When they don't sustain a consistent forecheck, they're very beatable. So, the Devils earned the two points- making David Clarkson's first period power play goal stand up. Now, it's onto tonight with Tampa visiting before a tough weekend with the Flyers and Caps back-to-back. Yet another challenge with the Bruins on deck next Tuesday.

With Boston in a slump, the Rangers still find themselves as the East's top seed, three up on the B's but with the Flyers, Pens and Devils all gaining. They have responded to adversity well all year. We'll see if they can again starting tonight.

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