This has nothing to do with the Backstrom play, but, you know, it’s now A Thing. (GIF by welshhockeyfan)

With the Washington Capitals locked in 1-1 game with the Dallas Stars, Nicklas Backstrom crashed the net. That’s great. Net crashing is cool. But when John Carlson whacked the puck towards the crease, Nicky did something naughty after missing the tip-in: he cross-checked Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen in the face. That’s not allowed. Lehtonen went down hard, throwing his blocker off in the process.

Initially, the refs ruled it a good goal. After conferring, though, Backie’s goal was waved off due to incidental contact, according the NHL.

“[N]o goal, no penalty,” the league said on its website. “This play is the referee’s call on the ice and is not reviewable.”

“I think it should have been a goal based on the replay,” Caps head coach Adam Oates told reporters after the game. “The referees, they’re trying to do the best they can.”

“I didn’t think Backie interfered with him,” he added. “I thought he touched the puck first and then the goalie, and obviously the goalie embellished a little.”

“You gotta be able to survive that stuff,” Oates concluded.

Caps color man Craig Laughlin also wasn’t a fan of the call, harping on it for the next 30 minutes of play. In a game they ultimately lost by one goal, it would’ve been a welcome even strength tally for Washington. Through three games this year, the team has been outscored nine to three at five-on-five. Their magisterial power play (six for 12) is keeping them from stinking it up at the moment. Lucky for the Caps, though, the team has three practices to correct their errors before their next game on Thursday.

So what do you think? Good goal or not?


GIF by Ian Oland

  • Kolzig37

    Looks like Kari has spent too much time with Mike Smith, although I don’t think it is a good goal.

  • amberlynne

    Ha! I thought I heard the ref say that but I figured it was wishful thinking. Hilarious.

  • Owen Johnson

    He did say it before announcing a different penalty.

  • H70

    The goalie didn’t block the shot because it was already behind him, let’s put it that way.

  • goarmy73

    The goalie sold the hit pretty well. Falling back and throwing his blocker and all

  • breaklance

    Looks good to me. The xcheck couldn’t of prevented Lethonen from making the save considering Nicky hit it first, and the goalie doesn’t have a tail that I’m aware of. I can buy the goalie interference but seriously call the penalty then – oh wait you can’t retroactively.

    This is the same weak officiating that refuses to use the instigator as intended or written, and another great reason for a coaches challenge. The fact this went to Toronto and the ruling was at the least baffling and at the most a blatant use of a loophole is damning of the sport. This isn’t something new, but if the NHL had anywhere near the following of the NFL this is something akin to the week 1 blown interception call where the receiver caught the CB who caught the ball. How quickly did the NFL make peace with the real refs after that – so where are the real refs for the nhl to hire?

  • Dlucks

    Those god damn snipers hiding in the rafters!

  • Ash

    Thought it should have been a good goal. But, then, Neuvy sold the hell out of the interference penalty in the game against the Flames (and I’m glad he did!), so maybe we were just getting tit for tat on the goalie acting karma.

  • VirginiaPatriot

    Watch his body from the waist down. Definitely huge embellishment. He pushes up from the lower body, throwing himself back. I seriously doubt a stick to the facemask would have generated that movement.

  • Jonathan Kenny

    The difference with Neuvy’s embellishment was that Gallardi did try and get away with a cheap elbow to Neuvy’s face, and possibly would have succeeded had Neuvy not exaggerated. But ti was a cheap shot attempt and Neuvy made him pay. #30 was the star of the game and I’m disappointed he wasn’t rewarded with the start vs DAL.
    I don’t think the refs made a bad call in the Backstrom cross-check. while the replay appears to show he made contact with the puck first; it was very close and those things are hard to judge in real time. The Caps need to be good enough that a 2nd period call like that won’t decide the game.

  • Andrew

    Good goal, nothing the referees could have done better really.

  • Cole B

    Yeah, I would say that a goalie throwing his stick six feet into the air while falling down from a little cross check is textbook embellishment. And Backy hit the puck before he hit the goalie. Should have been a good goal.

  • Ash

    Yeah, I don’t necessarily argue– the speed, angles, replays and so forth that we see on tv is not always the same as what the refs can see. I just thought it was kinda bizarrely weird that the game before is where we benefited from a goalie interference call, and we get bitten by it the game after.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Agreed. Easy diving. He is moving like he was just hit by a sandbag to the face.