As seen on television Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals knocked out the reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in overtime 2-1.
Or did they?
According to former NHL referee Kerry Fraser, the goal scored by Capitals forward Joel Ward should not have counted.
Kerry wrote on TSN.ca, “In Boston, reality struck when the series ended with a Game 7 overtime goal that was manufactured by Mike Knuble in another example of goalkeeper interference.”
He continued, “Knuble continued on his path entering deep into the goal crease and made sufficient physical contact with the Bruins goalie to knock him off his set position and back toward the goal line.”
What Fraser is referring to is NHL rule 69.1 that the refs on the ice clearly missed.
The rule states, “The overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.”
As hockey rules go, the first goal scored in overtime marks the winner and so Ward’s goal got the whole Capitals bench up in excitement. That could explain the refs failing to make the call, but Fraser said it shouldn’t matter.
“Decisions of this magnitude are never popular but sometimes they just have to be made,” he said.