We're of the opinion that the officials completely screwed the Flyers over on Saturday against the Penguins. The most ridiculous of the errors made came in the second period when a Simon Gagne goal was called back because Ville Leino made incidental contact with Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury outside of the crease.
Never mind the fact that, you know, the rules say a goal can't be waived off because of incidental contact outside the crease. As a refresher, Rule 69.1, please.
Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact. The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgment of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review.
Referee Dan Marouelli said over the public address that "the goal has been disallowed due to incidental contact with the goaltender" even though that's clearly contrary to the rule outlined above. The only other way for this goal to be disallowed is if Leino didn't try to stop after realizing he was going to hit Fleury.
Until about 3:46 this afternoon, it was mostly just us (and Gagne himself) trying to point out this unbelievable error. That's when Brandon Worley of ProHockeyTalk jumped on the case. He took a few screen shots of the video from the play, proving that the collision did indeed take place outside the crease, but more importantly, clearly proving that Leino made every attempt to stop before colliding with Fleury.
As you can tell, Leino is slamming on the brakes as he's about to hit Fleury. If that's not a "reasonable effort to avoid such contact," I'm not too sure what would suffice.
I understand that NHL officials have extremely tough jobs and that the pressure they deal with is unimaginable, but they have that pressure because things like this routinely happen. The course of Saturday's game would've been completely altered had the Flyers been rightly credited with the Gagne's goal on this play. I'm not saying we would've necessarily been talking about a Philadelphia win, but we certainly wouldn't have been talking about the officiating for 24 hours.