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Red Wings Robbed Of Goal, Fans Robbed Of Overtime in Game 3

by: JamieD On  Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Red Wings Ducks HockeyTotal Pro Sports – There may not be a more frustrating moment in hockey than working hard all game to score on the opposing goalie, and when you finally do the ref decides to make the biggest mistake of his career and blow the whistle.  That was the story of the Detroit Red Wings as they were defeated 2-1 last night at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks after having a goal disallowed with 1:09 remaining.

Like all the games in the series thus far, this one was a tight checking affair, in which the Red Wings heavily out shot the Ducks.  Despite the number of shots on goal, Jonas Hiller looked comfortable between the pipes in the first two periods, having little to worry about besides the Zetterberg goal in the second; a powerplay marker which cut the lead to 2-1.

The Wings came out hard in the third and out shot the Ducks 18-3, but Hiller stood on his head, and when the Wings finally did beat him, Referee Brad Watson got whistle happy and blew it before the puck was frozen.  As he was doing so, a diving Marian Hossa found the puck in the crease and pushed it past Hiller for the goal, but NHL rules state that play ends, not the the whistle goes off, but when it is intended to be blown, which in this case was before the puck crossed the line.

The Wings were reasonably upset and were not able to recover in the final minute as the series now shifts in favour of the Ducks 2-1.  Game 4 is set for Thursday night in Anaheim.  So how about that goal?  Series supervisor E.J. McGuire had the following to say about how Watson handled it:

“First off, as any of us watch on a replay, it’s easy to make the correct call.  In the case tonight, the official was down along the goal line. He was moving forward toward the net to try to get a look at where the puck was.  When he couldn’t see the puck, all referees’ instructions are to blow the whistle and blow the play dead. A combination of the black puck and the black pants may have been a factor. But when he didn’t see the puck, he blew the whistle.” (

It is now time for the Wings to move on.  This is where great teams leave controversies behind and forget about what has happened in the past.  The Wings can take their strong third period performance into next game, but they will need to solve Hiller early if they want to avoid going down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.  Refs are only human.  They should be expected to make mistakes.  Its tough when it happens like it did last night as that may possibly be a series changer, but game three is over and now its time for everyone to set their sights on game 4.

Here is a video of the disallowed goal.  What do you think?