After watching the highlights of the Edmonton Oilers come mere minutes of taking a series lead over the Anaheim Ducks the other night, it has to make one wonder what it could’ve been if the Oil didn’t blow a 3-0 lead with three minutes to go. To make matters worse, the Oilers were on the wrong end of a blatant goaltender interference call with 15 seconds left, where in turn the Ducks tied the game and won in overtime. On any other night, this particular call would be whistled down, but the referees decided to let this one go and act like nothing happened.
The play saw Ducks forward Ryan Kesler get shoved into Oilers goalie Cam Talbot and being the agitator he is, decided to wrestle down Talbot’s leg and allow his teammate to deposit the game-tying goal in the dying seconds. According to nhlofficials.com, the first rule is, “if an attacking player initiates any contact, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease , and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.” There is nowhere in the rule book that says, “wrestle the goalie’s leg to the ice so the team can score.” Kesler’s act shouldn’t have changed the ruling. This was an act of impeding the goalie of making a play in his own crease.
The referees are put out there for a reason. They’ve been taught game management and that call was a confidence blower because really what is “goaltender interference” at this stage of the season? It seems to be a free-for-all in the crease where players can take liberties and help their own cause. You have to think if the referees are allowing the players to dictate the outcome of the games more at this time of year and putting their whistles away. It seems that way as this blown call hasn’t been the only one missed in these playoffs. If that’s the case, the league should wake up and crack down on the refs to find consistency before more incidents like these occur . The season is on its biggest stage and brutal calls are being made all over the ice and shouldn’t be tolerated.
Isn’t there suppose to be consistency at this time of year or the referees will make a call whenever they want to? Of course the rule book has changed but goaltender interference is standard and isn’t it pretty obvious when a goalie unusually falls. I guess not. Players are right when they say it’s a joke when it comes to calls and can you blame them.