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Detroit Once Again at Center of Controversial Call

Nov 28, 2009 – 12:00 AM
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Adam Gretz

Adam Gretz %BloggerTitle%

For the second time in a week the Detroit Red Wings had a potential goal taken away from them. First, it was the "intent to blow" rule. On Friday, it was Dan Cleary preventing Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff from doing his job -- at least, that was the explanation given from the on-ice referee.

Video of the questionable ruling after the jump.

With the Wings trailing, 1-0, late in the first period and on the power play, defenseman Brad Stuart fires a shot from the point through a screen to seemingly tie the game ... until the refs stepped in and waived it off.

Let's go to the rule book! Rule 78.5 addresses disallowed goals, and features 13 examples (including the infamous "intent to blow" rule). Here's what part V has to say: "When an attacking player has interfered with a goalkeeper in his goal crease."

There's definitely some slight contact with Cleary's backside and Kiprusoff's blocker, and Cleary's skates are barely inside the blue paint (kind of half in and half out). Is that enough interference to warrant the no-goal call? That's not the first time I've seen that type of play get waved off, but I've also seen it count -- without dispute -- many, many more times. And, let's face it, if that play is called that tight on a nightly basis (and it's not) players like Tomas Holmstrom, or any player that makes a living screening goaltenders in front of the net, probably wouldn't have much of a career in the NHL.

We have an e-mail into the NHL seeking clarification on the rule and why the goal might have been waved off.

Cleary had another potential goal taken away late in the second period after a quick whistle when the referees lost sight of the puck near the goal crease.

The Flames went on to win the game, 3-0, sending the Red Wings to their fifth loss in six games -- a stretch in which Detroit has scored just six goals and has been shutout in seven consecutive periods dating back to the second period of Monday's loss in Nashville.
Filed under: Sports