It’s as Simple as That

The goal - Ryan Smyth deflection with 3 seconds left against Ottawa Senators 11/22/10

First thing is first.

The Kings, like all games since their 6-3 loss to San Jose, could have played much better last night. The Senators have been an up and down team this year and the Kings have been atop the MSM’s power rankings.

A clear victory would have been one that was not decided in the last 3 seconds.

Now that that is out of the way, the Kings were robbed of at least one goal last night by the officials. I am not one to protest due to sour grapes, so I will just lay out the facts:

The Ryan Smyth deflection in the picture above was about as close as it comes. That is evident. I just don’t see how an on ice official can call a high stick on a player holding his stick at his waist that is if not exactly parallel to the ice, very close.

This call led to the war room in Toronto not being able to overturn the call, as the video they were given to judge the deflection was not from an ice angle view, and thus, no accurate ruling could be made.

This has been a problem for years, and the fact that each rink doesn’t have a camera somewhere at ice level for exactly this purpose is mind-boggling. Same for the rinks that don’t have one level with the goal line from above.

The other issue from last night, albeit somewhat minor, is the disputed goal from the first period.

Kyle Clifford made the best play of his NHL career, drove hard to the net and had the puck deflected by the defenseman, which was barely saved by goalie Pascal Leclaire, but Wayne Simmonds was there to easily put the rebound home.

Unfortunately, just before he did, a sliding defenseman Matt Carkner clutched the side of the goal post and his momentum took it off the moorings.

According to the rule, if the net is dislodged off of its pegs and a puck crosses the goal line after this happens, it is no goal. That is exactly what happened, and the correct call was made.

But:

“If it’s not a goal then it’s a penalty.”

- Terry Murray, Kings head coach.

That should have either been a good goal or a delay of game penalty. No question.

Of course, with the way the Kings’ power play has been lately, I’m sure they wouldn’t have scored on the power play, but that getting the short stick feeling certainly poured salt in the wound when the on ice call by the official cost the Kings a goal late in the game.

Again, the video would not allow the NHL to overrule the on ice call of ‘no goal’. Had the call on the ice been a goal, there is no doubt that the same video would have not been able to overrule that call either.

Of course, the outcome of the result of the call cannot affect the call itself, but it would be nice if it could. What I mean is- had this been called a goal, it simply would have sent the game into OT, where odds are that a clearly defined goal would have decided the outcome of the game, and two deserving teams would have each received a point. Had the goal been scored when the game was already tied- anything that close with no clear evidence should definitely not be allowed.

But that is not reality. The reality is that the people in place to make the decisions have the best of intentions, but are limited due to lack of adequate resources and the sentiment that no one wants to screw up.

It’s easier just to blame the ‘lack of irrefutable video evidence’ than to make a decision.

Great video put together by ‘Life in Hockeywood’ about these incidents:

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