When Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals scored to win Game 7 in overtime against the Boston Bruins, teammate Mike Knuble was literally standing in between the pads of goalie Tim Thomas.
The Bruins goalie didn't make a stink about it on the ice, nor did he emphatically complain after the game that Knuble interfered with him.
Enter Kerry Fraser, TSN's officiating ombudsman, who implied on his blog Thursday that referees Stephen Walkom and Eric Furlatt blew the call on the series-winning goal in Game 7:
After taking a backhand shot from close in that Tim Thomas saved Knuble continued on his path entering deep into the goal crease and made sufficient physical contact with the Bruins goalie to knock him off his set position and back toward the goal line. The undetected rebound was shot past Thomas as he attempted to pull his head out of Knuble's midsection and right arm.
It would defy logic to maintain that rule 69, as it is written, was not sufficiently violated for the referee to disallow this goal. (Read the rule here)
Mike Knuble was not pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with Thomas. It matters not if the contact on Thomas by Knuble was deemed to be deliberate or incidental other than a minor penalty that might result. What matters most is that all the elements of rule 69.1 were violated and the goal should have been waved off.
As it would have been had Mike Knuble been Tomas Holmstrom.
That's all well and good, and the type of thing you'd expect from a retired NHL official who doesn't face any NHL scrutiny or political recourse for calling back an overtime goal on a questionable interference call. Which leads us to our final point:
Does anyone believe for even a [expletive] millisecond that Kerry Fraser — THIS KERRY FRASER — would have disallowed that goal at that point of the game and series?