After Patrick Kane scored a goal to cut the Detroit Red Wings lead to one after a controversial no call when Johan Franzen was hit from behind, the referees were likely looking for a make up call. That’s exactly what Chicago Blackhawks fans will be saying happened here after a goal was disallowed because Andrew Shaw apparently interfered with goalie Jimmy Howard. Referee Brad Watson waved the goal off as soon as it crossed the goal line, so at least he was emphatic with his decision.
From the NHL Rulebook:
69.1 Interference on the Goalkeeper - This rule is based on the premise that an attacking player’s position, whether inside or outside the crease, should not, by itself, determine whether a goal should be allowed or disallowed. In other words, goals scored while attacking players are standing in the crease may, in appropriate circumstances be allowed. Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease. Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact. The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgment of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review.
… If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
Pavel Datsyuk went down the ice about a minute later and let a ridiculous shot go to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead and all but shut the door on the Blackhawks in game three.
Personally, I think the goalie interference was minimal. I was at the game and didn’t see anything at the time that warranted waving off the goal and on the replay, it seems any contact between Shaw and Howard was next to none. This isn’t the first time that referees have made some bad goalie interference calls and Red Wings fans will feel zero sympathy for the Blackhawks with all the Tomas Holmstrom goalie interference calls there were over the last decade.
The controversial calls in this game will certainly set the stage for an electric game four on Thursday night in Detroit.