TJ Oshie’s hat trick goal capped off a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory for the Washington Capitals, but not before enduring a video review.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray nearly stopped Oshie’s wraparound goal 9:33 into the extra session. The puck was slowed by the goaltender’s stick before trickling across the goal line.
Referee Dan O’Rourke called it a goal on the ice before donning the headset and checking with the NHL’s Situation Room.
From the NHL:
At 9:33 of overtime in the Penguins/Capitals game, video review confirmed the referee’s call on the ice that T.J. Oshie’s shot completely crossed the Pittsburgh goal line. Therefore the referee’s call on the ice stands – good goal Washington.
It was a tricky review. Both the overhead camera and the crossbar camera were partially obscured by Murray’s equipment. With those angles inconclusive, the broadcast crews focused on the front view of the net. It appeared to show the puck in the net. It does look that way, until you start to consider the geometry of the viewing angle.
Over at Defending Big D, they tackled the parallax viewing issue after the Wild nearly scored a late tying goal against the Dallas Stars.
The only definitive angle for whether or not a puck is over the goal line will be an overhead view. And while goalpost and crossbar-embedded cameras are certainly not perfect, they are ideal for a situation like this.
Sportsnet also hit on the subject last year regarding a possible Flames goal.
Over on Reddit’s r/hockey, user RTGold provided a simple but effective DIY example of how angles can play tricks on spatial relationships. In their example, “the pen is the Goal line, the tape is the ice and the puck is well, the puck.”
It was a close call for Oshie and the Caps.
With O’Rourke’s initial goal call, there was not way to overturn the ruling without conclusive evidence. In this case, you’d be hard-pressed to find any.
We’ve got cameras in goalposts, cameras in the crossbar, overhead cameras, blueline cameras, and the regular broadcast cameras. Still, we’ll never have enough angles to consistently prove each time the puck crosses – or doesn’t cross – the line.
For that, we’ll have to await chips in pucks.