Connect with us

Penguins

Gajtka: Blame Hörnqvist’s No-Goal on Referee, Not Replay Review

The parallax view phenomenon is no B.S., but the current officiating process seems to carry a foul smell.

Published

on

As it pertains to the controversial Patric Hörnqvist no-goal in Sunday’s Penguins loss to the Capitals in Game 2, the NHL’s situation room got it right.

Wait. Before you click elsewhere, just hear me out.

Despite what it might look like from the side view, there’s no conclusive video evidence that the puck was absolutely across the goal line.

In a wild bit of déjà vu, T.J. Oshie‘s overtime goal in Game 1 of the 2016 second-round series between these two teams was subject to the same optical illusion that Hörnqvist’s (likely) goal was: The parallax view.

This short video should tell you all you need to know:

In short, just because we can see a sliver of white ice between the puck and goal line from the side view doesn’t mean the puck actually crossed the goal line.

It’s the same reason why I doubt to this day that Oshie’s goal actually went in the net two years ago. Judge for yourself:

For me, that’s inconclusive evidence and no goal.

Unfortunately for the Penguins — both the 2016 edition and the current team — the rule in place for the NHL is that there has to be conclusive evidence to overturn what has already been called on the ice.

And just as referee Dan O’Rourke was in the corner for the sketchy Oshie OT goal in 2016, Chris Rooney was way too far from the net to make any kind of accurate call on whether Hörnqvist actually did score on this play in Sunday’s third period:

Common sense tells us that Hörnqvist’s stuff attempt hit pay dirt, but since the call on the ice was ‘no goal’ and there wasn’t a definitive overhead look at the puck in the net, ‘no goal’ remained the call.

Now, here’s a disclaimer: I don’t know what NHL referees are being taught in terms of positioning on these kinds of plays. It’s a fast game, so it could be that officials are instructed to stay clear of the net so they don’t get drilled by a body, stick or shot. They might feel that the best view of a play is from outside the fray.

However, my feeling from a detached perspective is that officials have become tentative about calling goal-no goal on some of these close plays. In this case, Rooney does extend his arms overhead, signifying a stoppage in play, but there’s no dramatic ‘washout’ signal — which we usually see on shots off posts or other close calls around the goal line.

If Rooney is closer to the goal, perhaps he sees what most of us believe to be true: That Hörnqvist tucked the puck completely inside the post before Braden Holtby dragged it out with his left pad. I realize Francois St-Laurent had a little more time to post up for Winnipeg’s late equalizer Sunday night, but if Rooney is this far from the net, I bet he sees the puck go in:

My contention is that Rooney had no idea on Hörnqvist’s shot, so he decided to let replay handle this one. I’d actually be OK with that approach, but only if there isn’t emphasis placed on the call on the ice.

So, if the league is going to defer to its on-ice officials when there’s no definitive view, then said officials simply must be in better position to make an actual call. The kind of distant positioning we saw Sunday with Rooney, or two years ago with O’Rourke, is simply unacceptable under the current order of operations.

Same building. Same net. Same teams. Same result, with the Penguins on the short end of a goal/no goal ruling assisted by video replay. The parallax view phenomenon is no B.S., but the current officiating process seems to carry a foul smell.

There’s no telling what would’ve happened if Hörnqvist would’ve gotten the goal he was sure he scored. Maybe the Penguins still lose. The problem is that we’ll never know.

Subscribe to PHN+

A lifelong hockey addict, Matt has been fortunate enough to make his career in his sport of choice, working in high school, juniors, college and the pros in various multimedia roles. Previous to joining PHN, Matt was a credentialed Penguins/NHL beat reporter from 2016-18, including coverage of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. He contributes commentary and analysis here in various forms.

15 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ricardo58
Ricardo58
4 years ago

Well said sir!

Jamie
Jamie
4 years ago

Hey Matt, Thanks for this article as a fan I was pretty upset yesterday at the time, but calmed down about it so it was nice to read an article on the call that keeps me reasonable and doesn’t get me all fired up again! Honestly this play did not cost them the game it was not showing up on time to start the game, the first period did them in. Be nice to see your thoughts on why the Team has been not showing up to start the games pretty much for the whole year and what you think… Read more »

Ray Haluska
Ray Haluska
4 years ago

Ref was clearly not in position to make the call but I’m not sure he avoids Sidney circling the net at high speed AND gets into position to make a proper call in the microseconds Crosby made that play. I appreciate the rational explanations give by you and precious few others in the press corps while others choose to foment the conspiracy theories to the point of tears.

James
James
4 years ago

In 2018, why can’t we put a chip in the puck that will transmit data of the puck’s position on the ice which could confirm goals?

James
James
4 years ago
Reply to  James

(Removed outside link)

Sunny Day
Sunny Day
4 years ago
Reply to  James

The Russians would only hack it anyway!

Dave
Dave
4 years ago

The issue I have is that the puck was:
1. behind the pipe at 1 point
2. moving back toward the front of the net on the camera shot you are using as well as the one shown on TV. The announcers clearly explain that when they say it was a goal.

Sure, from an angle there will be some white. However, it’s not a baseball and in the shot the puck is moving back toward the line meaning it was further in.

Sunny Day
Sunny Day
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Exactly correct! The puck disappeared completely behind the pipe for a second. Parallax view, overhead view, doesn’t matter. The puck was out of sight behind the upright…It HAD to be IN!

Troy
Troy
4 years ago

Why was Holtby reaching around the OUTSIDE of the net with his glove and pushing forward? Maybe because the puck was INSIDE?

Harold E Pollitt
Harold E Pollitt
4 years ago

Forget the view analogy, Holtby had pulled the puck into the goal,and it was CLEARLY a good goal! It does make a Huge difference in hockey when you take away a goal in a close game in the third period,it completely changed the ebb and flow of the game! Does not matter, Pens will stick to their game,and the Caps are toast the next 2 games,and we will boot them out in the second round on their home ice! Going to take allot more than cheap shots and bs officiating to beat the champs!

Lucas Wise
Lucas Wise
4 years ago

As someone who has refereed amateur hockey over a decade, has been reading rulebooks as long as I could read, and is a USA Hockey certified referee, we are absolutely taught to advance along the goal line toward the net on close plays, for exactly this reason. As for whether the NHL teaches this or not, I highly doubt it; it’s an elementary school-level concept.

Zach
Zach
4 years ago

No disrespect sir but I find you to be as blind as a bat if you think this is not definitive.

Corey Walsh
Corey Walsh
4 years ago
Reply to  Zach

Hornqvist offside anyways. This whole situation is unnecessary.

Dan Kingerski
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Corey Walsh

This has been asked and answered. NO, there would not have been an offside call because the Capitals put the puck into the zone.

Join PHN Extra!

Join PHN+ today for exclusive content from Dan, Dave and Shelly plus a completely Google ad-free experience.

PHN+

Or enter your email below to sign-up for our mailing list.

Thank you!

Something went wrong.

No thanks. I don't want.