The Detroit Red Wings were haunted by a phantom interference call that cost them a goal in Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Capitals. It may as well have been a ghost that tripped up Capitals netminder Braden Holtby, since it sure wasn’t Red Wings forward Luke Glendening. Of course, that’s not how it was called on the ice.
Holtby played the puck up the boards, then tripped over his own skates on the way back to the crease. The Wings recovered the puck. An opportunistic Drew Miller fired the puck at the nearly-empty net to give the Wings a 1-0 lead. At least, that’s what would’ve happened, had the goal counted.
Referee Ghislain Hebert appeared to be the one who made the call against Glendening. From his point of view outside the blueline, it’s likely that it appeared that the Wings player may have bumped Holtby.
Referee Mike Leggo, positioned near the goal line, had a better view of the play. He didn’t call anything on the ‘interference’ play. He did, however, wave off the Detroit goal. (My guess is that he was waving it off for incidental contact with the goaltender. Again, not the right call, but it didn’t appear that he was calling a penalty on the play. A lesser evil, I suppose.)
In any case, Detroit head coach Mike Babcock took a moment to vent his frustrations – first to Pierre, then to Leggo.
That kind of goal wave-off is the kind of thing that makes Wings tin-foil hatters feel alive.
— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdon) October 30, 2014
Long-time NHL referee Kerry Fraser weighed in on the no-goal call:
@HoyBoy84 Phantom interference call on Glendening negates legit Wings goal when Holtby trips himself backing toward net. Trick or Treat?
— Kerry Fraser (@kfraserthecall) October 30, 2014
Trick, Kerry. Most certainly a trick.
Mercifully for the Wings and their fans, they went on to win the game 4-2. Imagine if they’d lost by one?