Last night I watched the San Jose-Detroit game, easily won by the Wings, 4-1. During the first period, with Detroit up 2-0, the Sharks pressed hard and put the puck behind Ty Conklin. Referee Dave Jackson, a official since 1990, confidently awarded the Shaks a goal. He waved his arm so hard at the net that I thought he might hurt himself. As you can guess, the usual stuff then happened; they went upstairs for video review and the call to Toronto. Video highlights of the game here.
I watched the replays and listened to the commentary of Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond, the Red Wings TV broadcast crew. They too, watched the replays and Mickey said that it didn’t look to him that the whole puck crossed the goal line, but it might not be conclusive video evidence to overturn the call. But I heard either Ken or Mickey say that Dave Jackson was pretty confident with his call and it would be up to him to change his mind. Both broadcasters said this with full respect for Jackson.
And then I thought back to another game, back in January, New Jersey against Columbus. The Jackets lost that game under very similar circumstances. A puck was put in the net, but video reviews showed that the net was off and that goalie Steve Mason actually had the puck frozen, but the referee at that game, Don Koharski, did not stop play. And right here, I want to quote myself:
You could still tell Koharski to make his own call, but you could ask him to explain what he saw at that time when making his call. If says he saw the puck go over the line, you might want to say, “But Don, even though the puck crossed the line, our video shows that the net was off the posts then and the play should have been blown dead.” Or you could say, “Don, our video clearly shows that the puck was trapped long enough by Steve Mason and you should have stopped play before the puck was put into the net. Are you sure you want to stand by your call?”
I think last night, the War Room may have done just that. They watched the video a few times and said to Dave Jackson, “Dave, I know you thought you saw the whole puck cross the line, but our video does not conclusively show that. Are you sure you want to stand by your call?” And Dave Jackson, who did not see the video, probably asked them some questions about video angles, puck movement, etc, but in the end, he made the wise decision to take his call back!
I don’t know Dave Jackson, have never met him, but my respect for him just went up. Maybe the decision to disallow the goal was not his, but unlike another official who awarded a goal to New Jersey in January, he did not stamp his feet or hold his ground until he got his way. Or possibly the NHL changed the process a little and did advise the official that it could not back up his on-ice decision. I wish there was a transcript of the review process available. It appears that logic and reason prevailed.
Whatever happened, the proper call was made. San Jose didn’t say a word of protest and went back to playing the game. Thank you NHL.