NHL admits to missed call on Karlsson's Game 3 OT winner

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  • Erik Karlsson
    Erik Karlsson
    Swedish ice hockey player (born 1990)

A missed call on a blatant hand-pass leading to Erik Karlsson’s game-winner in Game 3 of the Sharks-Blues series has the NHL’s damage control specialists out in full force on Thursday.

One of those responsible for cleaning up the mess was NHL Executive VP Colin Campbell, who joined Sportsnet’s Hockey Central at Noon to discuss the egregious non-call and how the league is dealing with the fallout from a postseason loaded with controversy surrounding its referees and video replay system.

“We could start calling that next year, Game 1,” said Campbell in reference to Rule 38.4(ix), which allows the utilization of replay to ensure “good hockey goals” in a much broader way.

“I don’t think I would use that card in the third round of a playoff — I’m not so sure San Jose would appreciate if we used that rule for the first time in that game, even though it would would’ve been correct,” Campbell said.

Campbell also went on to admit that all four officials on the ice missed the obvious hand-pass that resulted in the Blues going down 2-1 in the series.

“That was the wrong call,” Campbell said. “It should’ve been a whistle if the referee had seen it live. Yes, you could probably use [Rule 38.4(ix)] but i think it has to be a discussion [before expanding use of that rule].

“It’s so unfair that the game ended that way. The wrong way.”

Rule 38.4(ix) lets the NHL “assist the Referees in determining the legitimacy of all potential goals (e.g. to ensure they are “good hockey goals”). For example (but not limited to), pucks that enter the net by going through the net meshing, pucks that enter the net from underneath the net frame, pucks that hit the spectator netting prior to being directed immediately into the goal, pucks that enter the net undetected by the Referee, etc.”

Here’s the controversial tally in which Timo Meier clearly bats the puck with his hand directly to Gustav Nyquist before he feeds Karlsson the game-winning biscuit.

As the rule stands currently, the play should have been blown dead as soon as Nyquist controlled the puck. If you catch a couple different angles and REALLY zoom in, the case can be made (barely) that the puck grazed Bouwmeester’s (No. 19 in blue) shin pad, but it wouldn’t have mattered as he would’ve had to gain possession of the puck for the hand-pass to be nullified.

All hand-passes — even ones directly leading to a goal — are currently non-reviewable, so the officiating crew couldn’t request one, coaches couldn’t challenge it, and the league had to sit idly and surely painfully as both refs and both linesmen botched one of the more obvious missed call we’ve seen.

The four officials involved in the controversy —Dan O’Rourke, Marc Joannette, Matt MacPherson and Jonny Murray have been sidelined for the rest of the playoffs, according to Fox Sports Blues reporter Andy Strickland, suffering the same fate as the group who called an ill-advised major penalty leading to a monumental San Jose comeback in Game 7 of the Sharks-Vegas first-round matchup.

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