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5/2 CAPS Disallowed Game 7 Goal Was a Good Call and I Would Lose a Finger to get the Cup to D.C.

May 2, 2010


I have been quietly listening to and reading all the Washington Capitals’ official statements and press conferences this weekend. One thing that General Manager, George McPhee, stated (GMGM) was that he was disappointed when Ovechkin’s goal was “taken back”, because Knuble was in Halak’s crease. Well, I’m an always-curious dork-geek, and I agreed with the call when it was made. (I know – I know, please Mia-hate at free will Capitals fans) One thing I have a tons of pride about is the fact that every NHL game I have seen live or on TV in which a goal, or question about a goal, is sent to Toronto for the people in the “War Room” to rule on officially; I have been 100% on the mark with each decision that came back. I have not ever made a decision that is different from the “hockey-den-braintrust” in Toronto. I realize I’m the only person who gives a crap about that – but it is something in which I take a great amount of pride. (Hey – you’ve gotta hold onto to what you’ve got if you catch my drift)

Here’s why I had to agree with the officiating in this case – the NHL rules clearly define “goalie interference” and when a goal is permissable or not. I was watching the game on TV, so the replays did show Knuble in the blue paint (my favorite place – the CREASE). That in itself is not a problem if a goal is scored by the opposing team on the netminder who’s crease has been “space invaded” by an attacking player. However, if the “space invader”, in this case Knuble, is clearly within the blue paint AND makes contact with the defending goalie, whether intentional contact or not, the rule dictates that the goal should be disallowed. Here’s the real kicker – the decision to take the goal away is solely the decision of the on-ice official at the time of the perceived interference. This rule is not the jurisdiction of the presiding hockey geeks in the “War Room”, and video replay cannot be used to call, then enforce the rule. Plus, for this rule, “contact” is defined as ANY contact by a stick or body part (in this case Knuble’s skate touched the Mighty “Hellblock’s” skate) and there is no further guidance for the official.

I have to assume that GMGM knows the rules, so he has to be aware that the call was technically sound. While I was watching the game, I did agree with the call. (yes, yes – I’m the worst Capitals fan ever) I agreed because I’m a freak who actually reads the official NHL rules every season. There were no rule changes this season, so I was able to take a break. The rules I have the best command of  at all times are the rules involving anything related to netminders. The official happened to be in the right place, and happened to be a dork-geek like me. Hence he saw the contact, thereby making the RIGHT call according the NHL rules. Also, if let’s say Gomez, were in Varly’s paint making some very slight contact and that damn Cammalleri put the puck in the net; the Capitals fans and folks within the organization would want the same call made as well.

I know that call doesn’t get made regularly, or even occasionally, but I’m a rule geek. I have heard and read enough at this point to post this today. The NHL rules show that the disallowed Capitals goal in game 7 was right on the button. Now, I shouldn’t have to state this, but as a Washington fan – I certainly would put aside my geek-dork nature if that very minor “interference” infraction could have gone “unnoticed”. Here’s the You Tube footage of the Knuble “invasion”, but it isn’t the footage shown to TV viewers in replay. The overhead “goalie-cam” shot and the “net-cam” shot both show the crease violation and skate to skate contact more clearly.

Personally, I think that no one on the side of the Capitals should talk about this publically any further. No more mentioning the non-goal Bruce – it was the very least of your concerns by that time in game 7 AND technically, it was not a bad call. In this case, the official was the only person who could make the call and at the speed of the game, it is hard for anyone to be 100% sure of the exact amount of contact and make the decision on the spot. The rule was violated, no matter how slightly and that goal didn’t really have anything with the Capitals being out-played by Montreal did it?

Certainly, I feel that some other technically sound calls should have been noticed and called. And yes indeed, there were some technically bad calls made during the series. I am empathetic when GMGM says he’s disappointed, because had the official been a little less “technical”, the Capitals could have been in a position to change the game for the better and to their advantage. They obviously could have used an advantage. I too, like GMGM, had a feeling after game 6 that the Capitals wouldn’t be headed to round 2, but kept that to myself. I was hoping the Capitals would prove me wrong.

Coming up in my next post – I have something in the works to address my previous comment that Boudreau was “not, so smart” in the series against Jacques Martin. I should have commented that Gabby was “not so strategically creative”. I don’t think he’s a dummy. He’s done great things with the team over the last 3 years – but I will be expanding on my original thoughts in my next post, which should be up tomorrow. I’m also a dork-geek about studying NHL head coaches. I have especially focused on cup-winning coaches. There are some cup-winning coach attributes that have not appeared to translate through Boudreau to the ice. I only wish I could be in a position to get all the “inside” scoop (from within the organization) so that I could make a better assessment – so I’m simply making well-educated, highly intuitive behavioral posts based on a long-time, geek-out on NHL hockey. If I were on the “inside”, I could find out that I have my head up my ass (which would be great because of the way I found out).

Lastly – if any person feels it necessary to question my devotion to the Washington Capitals; I have to put the following out there:  When the Capitals make it the finals again; I would chop-off my own, left, pinky finger and throw it at the other team if I had some strong evidence leading me to believe that action would somehow give Washington the advantage and a better chance at the cup. I do like all my fingers on my hands, but hold me to it if that scenario should ever arise. Here’s why:

1) I do most things with my right hand, so sacrificing a pinky finger on my left hand would be an acceptable loss to me in that situation.

2) There are always medical-types at the games and my wound would be taken care of right away.

3) At least I’d get 15 minutes of fame from the ensuing headlines that would read something like, “Capitals Fan Gives (insert losing NHL team name here) the Finger – Literally!

4) People could say things to me like, “What’s up Pinky” and I can then institute the “High FOUR”.  Following-up with “Give me some qaud-Knuckle” or “knuckle-up quatro style”. I could make a fortune on selling t-shirts that read, “Mia May Have only Fingers Four – But the Capitals are Cupless NO MORE”.

5) Since I can’t play on the team, I don’t work for the organization and after ALL these years as a fan waiting for the cup – if my finger helped get the Capitals the cup – that would be totally AWESOME! That would be worth a finger to me.

6) I’d be the total nut-job whose finger helped win the Stanley Cup and my name would then be associated with my favorite team and the Stanley Cup forever!!! A legacy would be born. (Hey, the hockey gods forgot to put the dangly-parts between my legs and then carefully placed me in “The Great Hockey Void” where ponds don’t freeze and almost no one cares about hockey. I was kinda screwed on the “I dream of playing NHL hockey and getting my name on the cup” idea before I even came out of the womb wasn’t I)

Go HABS (any team that can do that to the Capitals AND then play against the PENS gets my support this round of the playoffs) – I’m not dissin’ Gabby – The Capitals will win the cup with or without my finger – peace – mia (


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