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Ex-NHL ref Fraser: Washington’s series-winning goal shouldn’t have counted

Apr 26, 2012, 4:54 PM EDT

On his TSN blog, former NHL referee Kerry Fraser claims officials got it wrong on Joel Ward‘s game-winning goal in Wednesday’s Game 7 between the Capitals and Bruins, saying interference should’ve been called when Mike Knuble made contact with Tim Thomas.

Here’s the play in question:

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And here’s Fraser’s explanation:

Rule 69.1 — “Interference on the Goalkeeper…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.

“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.”

Mike Knuble was not pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with Thomas. It matters not if the contact on Thomas by Knuble was deemed to be deliberate or incidental other than a minor penalty that might result. What matters most is that all the elements of rule 69.1 were violated and the goal should have been waved off.

Decisions of this magnitude are never popular but sometimes they just have to be made.

The decision to allow the goal has come under fire from some media members, including the Boston Herald’s Ron Borges (“If Knuble had been any deeper in the crease, he could have taken a swig from Thomas’ water bottle,” he wrote.)

Thomas was less critical in his postgame remarks.

“When [Knuble] got in closer to me it got stuck on his backhand there, so I was just trying to play him honest and wait for him to take the shot,” Thomas said. “I didn’t want to go down until after he released the puck because I didn’t want him to be able to go up and over my pads.

“Then he put it at the net backhand and his momentum continued into me. I’m not calling sour grapes, but it’s reality. It pushed me out of the way just enough to open up the net for Ward to put it in. I didn’t even see Ward put it in. I knew the rebound was going that way, but my head was probably in about his stomach, right?”

  1. hairpie - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:56 PM


  2. thearabiangoat - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    This guy has be to blackballed by the reffing community by now, he consistently rips other refs like he was perfect when he was on the ice. Anyone that remembers Fraser during his time as a ref knows he was brutal, played favorites. I hate the Leafs but that non-call on Gretzky in 1993, a lot worse than the non-calls he picks out day after day for a paycheque.

    • bloggersarenotjournalists - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      It’s the job he is now being paid to do.
      2nd guessing people in his former profesion

      He’s always been a goof, but TSN has him around for stuff like this

  3. biasedhomer - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    With the way Washington was playing for the last few minutes, they would have won anyway.

  4. davidpcoelho - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Well…there were at least 3 calls that should have put the Caps on power play through out the game (not including a couple against the Caps but less egregious). High stick on Green (I believe), late hit on Hendricks, and a clear interference on Lucic hitting Chimera as he is leaving the ice. The last one was smack dab in front of a ref too.

    So….something as nit-picky as this not being called is fair. Boston had 4 power plays to the Caps 1. Maybe instead of focusing on this, they should have focused on their ability to only score one power play goal in the series, including the one with two minutes left in the third that was silly to call.

    • cableguymike - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      That game was gift wrapped for them with that brutal call with just over two minutes to go in the 3rd. No one to blame but themselves. And I couldn’t be happier.

  5. drewsylvania - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Was wondering the same thing, but a) it’s borderline whether Knuble impeded Thomas or not, and b) the penalties went the Bruins way all night.

  6. stangz11 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Well it’s really not clear cut that Thomas was impeded, and if you’re not 100% sure then you simply can’t disallow it. Like some other people have also mentioned Boston had 4 PPs and the Caps had 1, a lot of calls went the Bruins way anyhow.

    Besides, does anyone remember the article on this website that showed Chris Kelly as offsides on the Chara game winner earlier in the series in overtime?

  7. dropthepuckeh - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    This Bruins fan thinks the right team won the series. The Bruins got a PP with under three minutes left in regulation in a tied Game 7 on a very weak penalty. They didn’t do anything just like the rest of series. Washington looked much more confident from the first minute of game 7 and they deserved to win that game and the series. I hope they face the Rangers next and play the same way. I’m trying to muster the courage to watch tonight’s game 7’s but fear it might be hard given this loss!

  8. solador78 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    It’s totally interference, but then again, last year’s OT winner against the Habs shouldn’t have counted either.

    C’est la vie.

    • bigdong28 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:30 PM

      of course a HABS fan chimes in whenever there is talk of things that “shouldn’t have counted” come on man the HABS suck and they have for some time now, your team needs to play the game and stop making excuses like all of its fans.

      • solador78 - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:22 PM

        Remember when Lucic got away with running a goalie?

        Karma’s a…

  9. neelyisgod - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Plus 1 ^
    Unfortunately 😦

  10. govtminion - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    I’m fine with the Caps winning the series. The goal itself had me throwing things at my TV. Glad Fraser at least saw what I saw! No way that should have counted.

    But… it’s overtime of a playoff Game 7, and trying to herd everyone back to the benches and get play back under way would have been like herding cats. I’ve long accepted the same rationale happened during the famed ‘No Goal’ game between Buffalo and Dallas back in 2000.

    It is what it is though- the Capitals won, on to the next round, nothing to be done about it now anyway.

  11. obamablowz - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Kerry Fraser = Best hair ever !!!!!

  12. bensawesomeness - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    I would have more issue with it if Thomas or any Bruin had issue with it. They all skated away without even looking at the refs about the non-call
    If they’re content with it at the time, and nobody really noticed (wasnt BAD goalie interference either ) i’m okay with it

    • 8man - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      Actually Thomas did look around and raised his hands prior to skating off. But hell, someone had to win and the Bruins had their chances. Am I upset they lost? Hell, yes! Do I think they got jobbed? No. Again, my Bruins had opportunities to take control and Washington played too well to let them do it.

      Now here’s hoping the Caps win the whole damn thing!

  13. sjsharks66 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    I yelled the same thing at my tv last night. What can you do though. Reminds me of the bounce in the sharks-Canucks game when the sharks were eliminated. Play should have been blown down but they waited to long to blow the whistles. Im not complaining about that, but what I’m saying is once the celebrations begin there’s no chance they’ll make a different call.

  14. nogoodell - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Thomas didn’t care. Maybe more racist fans an opine.

  15. stakex - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Its a tough call, it really is. Going by the letter of the law should the goal have been waved off? Possibly, but during overtime in a game seven? I think it was the right call.

  16. yourrealitybites - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Kerry never wore a helmet (outside of that nest of hair), so clearly the blows to his head affected his cognitive skills. Must be a Boston fan to whine about the officiating.

  17. bozosforall - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    More crying from the Boston fan base.

  18. hockinj25 - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    There are blown calls in every game in every series. The refs on the ice didn’t see, the goal counted, Caps won fair and square.

  19. bradyisbetterthanrodgers - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    attention everyone:

    can we please stop replying to bozo. he is clearly a moron but maybe if we ignore him, he will go away. i really cant take reading his posts anymore. i like coming on this site to read intelligent posts and he just ruins the entire conversation

  20. bleed4philly - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I love it!

  21. billsin20xx - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Sabres-Stars NO GOAL!

    But no one is ever going to over-turn an OT winning goal with everyone on the ice!

  22. caps247 - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Hockey is a game purely influenced by mistakes. Of course I’m happy that the Caps won, but I’m undecided whether this is true GI or not. Besides, Lucic pushed Chimera down on the ice when he was leaving for a line change. No call, even though it was clearly interference and in the ref’s face too, literally. Maybe the refs were trying to make up for all those penalties NOT called on the caps this entire series?

  23. critter69 - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    I find it interesting that there are rules that state a player cannot enter the goalie crease, but the rule is not enforced. It would be similar to all basketball refs NOT enforcing the 3 second rule on offensive players in the lane.

    I’ve seen several games where players have parked themselves securely in the blue area in front of the goalie – in other words, they have parked themselves (for up to a minute) IN the goalie crease, which is against the rules of the game. And they do it time after time after time, game after game.

    Does anyone think a basketball ref would be officiating any post-season games if they let an offensive player consistently park themself in the lane? If not, why is it allowed in hockey?

    Anyone have a problem with a goalie protecting the goalie crease by physically shoving players out of the goalie crease? (Probably little bear fans would, but anyone else?)

  24. capsfan19 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    Bruins were offsides in their GWG in game 3. All is fair.

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