Vancouver’s Radim Vrbata gave his club a two-goal lead midway through the second period on a goal that was initially waved off.
Vrbata, posted just outside the crease, batted the puck out of the air and into the net. Referee Tim Peel immediately disallowed the goal for being deflected in with a high stick.
The officials went to the NHL’s Situation Room. After further review, the league ruled it a good goal. One of the broadcast cameras clearly showed that the puck deflected off the shaft of the stick below crossbar-height (0:32 of the video above).
Looking at Tim Peel’s view from the referee-cam, though, you can see why he initially waved it off. Vrbata’s body blocked the point of contact. From where Peel was standing, he could only see that the blade of Vrbata’s stick was above the bar.
Former NHL referee Paul Stewart also gave his thoughts on the play — and the referee-cam:
Upon super slow motion video replay from a different angle, it was clear the puck was played below the height of the crossbar. The puck was basically bunted into the net midway up the shaft of the stick. The blade did not make contact. The no-goal call on the ice was correctly reversed.
However, the helmet cam really didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know based on seeing where Tim was positioned, the congestion around the net and the speed of the play itself. It was going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to determine where the puck was played. As such, it was going to be a 50-50 call on a high stick. Helmet cam or not, that play was still going to go for review.
In the end, the right call was made in this instance. That’s what matters.
Here’s the official ruling from the NHL: “Video review said the puck deflected off the shaft of Radim Vrbata’s stick at or below the level of the crossbar before it entered the net. Good goal Vancouver.”