kuznetsov-interference

The Capitals lost Game Two to the Penguins 2-1. Late in the second period, the Capitals tied the game… or so we thought. The Caps and Pens scrummed in front of the net, then the puck bounced out to Nate Schmidt, who roofed it. Washington’s players on the ice celebrated, Verizon Center lost its collective mind, and the official waved it off.

Instead of a goal, the Caps got a penalty: Evgeny Kuznetsov for goalie interference. Barry Trotz was furious, demanding an explanation as the Verizon Center crowd erupted in a “Ref, you suck!” chant.

Let’s take a closer look at this pivotal moment.

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Photo: Geoff Burke

The NHL has a conundrum on their hands. This season, NHL coaches were given the right to challenge a referee’s call on the ice to try and eliminate controversial goals. The intent was to fortify the integrity of the game. Instead the opposite is happening.

The Washington Capitals have seen two of their goals this season overturned through unbelievably strict enforcement of the goalie interference rule.

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At the end of the second period, Mike Knuble shocked absolutely no one by doing what Mike Knuble does best — crashing the net, standing in the paint, and scoring a dirty goal, his first since December 5th.

Except, apparently, referee Eric Furlatt, who promptly waved it off. Injustice. We demand a goal review. We demand this be taken all the way to the Supreme Court. It wasn’t quite Game 7 of the Montreal series, but it must have stung for Knuble, who is on a 27-game scoreless streak and seemed hell-bent on making a difference in his first game back after three consecutive scratches.

Knuble ended the night with 3 hits, 2 shots on goal, and one assist in 17:07 of ice time, and he also briefly returned to the first line during the third period. A pretty good game overall, but this one is still going to haunt him.

Good goal, no? Perhaps the most good goal to ever be scored? You guys tell us:

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