NHL: The Goal Line
One of the most exciting things in hockey involves determining whether the puck fully crosses the goal line on close calls. Or at least in my opinion it is. Ever since I was a little boy I’ve been obsessed with these scenarios. To this day I still google/youtube close plays at the goal line of past games.
On Sunday night in Edmonton as the clock counted down, Oilers rookie phenom Connor McDavid appeared to have a sure goal. This was a wide open net of course and the puck was headed towards it. Then out of nowhere comes Quick…Jonathan Quick.
The Los Angeles Kings goaltender made as good a save you’ll see on McDavid as he reached out with his glove and stopped the puck on the goal line. Or did he? Dun Dun Dun…
We’ve seen scenarios like this many a time. There is geometry involved almost like an optical illusion at times. From one angle the puck will appear to be fully across the line, then another angle it appears that the puck is not fully across the line.
In this scenario on Sunday night, a good portion of Quick’s glove was across the goal line. If you were putting money on this, the money would probably be that the puck just barely made it fully across the line resulting in a goal.
Unfortunately for the Oilers this was a tough call to make. The referee nearest to the action signaled no goal as he was unable to see if the puck fully crossed the line which was completely understandable. This was NOT a bad call on his end.
The war room in Toronto needs conclusive evidence to overturn the referees call on the ice. They determined from their angles of the review that there was no conclusive evidence. They were also correct. Judging by the NHL rules regarding video review, the no-goal call was indeed the correct one.
Now after the game fans and media took to social media showing angles and pictures of the play that apparently the war room in Toronto didn’t have. These angles/pictures do make it appear the puck was fully across the line, yet technically speaking you still cannot 100 percent conclude this based on those angles/pictures.
Again, was the puck likely all the way across the line? Yes. Was the correct call made under the circumstances? Yes. Think if this went the other way and was called a good goal it would set a poor precedent from the league based on the league’s review rules currently in place.
Should the league acquire a technology/sensor that can determine whether the puck fully crosses the goal line? I’m sure it’s out there and it may come in due time. For now though we’ll still be left with some controversy and I’m sure this will happen again.
Even if the puck was across the line full kudos to Jonathan Quick for the outstanding save. If he doesn’t make that stop then none of this would be talked about. While that seems obvious the point being that again even if he made the stop and the puck was over the line, it was so close that it turned into his favor and a win in regulation for his team.
At the end of the day calls even out throughout the season. The Oilers will be on the short end of some and the happy recipients of others.
In addition to Quick, I would like to point out that the way McDavid handled himself during post-game interviews was phenomenal. Most veterans would show more frustration, yet an 18-years-old rookie knew he needs to put this behind him. This kid is not only a special player but an outstanding individual as well. He will soon be the face of the NHL for a long time!