Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was thoroughly entertaining, complete with stupendous saves, wizardous passes, sick snipes, and gorgeous individual efforts, but it was not without controversy. After exchanging goals in the first 4 minutes, both teams seemed to pot their second goals of the game, only to have both of them immediately disallowed.
Predictably, Canucks fans were upset that Keith Ballard’s goal was disallowed and Toronto fans were upset that Phil Kessel’s goal was disallowed. While this is not an unexpected reaction, both groups of fans seemed to have a case.
Ballard’s goal was disallowed because Ryan Kesler was ruled to have interfered with goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, preventing him from making the save. It appeared, however, that the contact was initiated by Gustavsson while Kesler was outside the crease and some even argued that the puck went in prior to the contact.
As for Kessel’s goal, it was disallowed because the net was dislodged. It was dislodged by Dan Hamhuis, however, and the NHL rulebook says that if a defending player dislodges the net, the goal should be allowed.
It seems that I’m going to have to be the one with the unpopular opinion that the referees actually got both calls right.Continue Reading —›
Vancouver fans may not see the Toronto Maple Leafs that often, but it was still a very familiar squad the Canucks beat Saturday. Consider the following: this was a team built by Brian Burke. Offensively, they were dangerous. Defensively, they were abysmal. They had a backup netminder in goal.
And, most tellingly, they came in boasting a juggernaut first line which featured a mediocre centre and two high-scoring wingers — one a sniper with arguably the league’s best wrist shot, the other a power forward type. This line scored three times and yet finished a combined minus-6. Sound familiar? It should. Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks beat the West Coast Express era Vancouver Canucks. And I watched this game.Continue Reading —›