Ref Roundup: Post-Whistle Goals, Russian Ref, & Lindros Lawsuit

Always play until the whistle, right? Sometimes, though, you can still score a goal even after it blows.

In Sunday’s game between Vancouver and St. Louis, the whistle blew as Blues goaltender Jake Allen appeared to have the puck beneath his pads. We all know that a play can be blown dead before a whistle via a referee’s intent to blow. In this case, the whistle clearly sounded before the puck went in.


There was obviously intent to blow as well the actual whistle. Last season, that would have been enough to confirm the no-goal call. This year, though, a change to the NHL rulebook allows for Toronto’s Situation Room to weigh in on the play.

Per Rule 38.4 (viii):

The video review process shall be permitted to assist the Referees in determining the legitimacy of all potential goals (e.g. to ensure they are “good hockey goals”).

This would also include situations whereby the Referee stops play or is in the process of stopping the play because he has lost sight of the puck and it is subsequently determined by video review that the puck crosses (or has crossed) the goal line and enters the net as the culmination of a continuous play where the result was unaffected by the whistle (i.e., the timing of the whistle was irrelevant to the puck entering the net at the end of a continuous play).

Did you get all that? Basically, the rule change gives the Situation Room the ability to overturn an intentional whistle from the on-ice officials.

Despite the fact that referee Tom Kowal had blown his whistle – rightfully so, based on his positioning, as he would have most certainly lost sight of the puck – the goal was allowed to stand. It’s the right call, but, much like situations where the officials have ‘disallowed’ penalties, it opens for debate which future situations will fall under this expanded review.

Ref Roundup:

  • Referee Kirk Wood is having a rough few weeks. First, he was slashed, resulting in a season-ending suspension for the player. Then, a few weeks later, he gets hit from behind after the whistle. [Scouting the Refs]
  • Eric Lindros has filed a lawsuit against former referee Paul Stewart for defamation, claiming Stewart’s story makes him look like a bad guy. No word on if his parents will represent him in court.  [Sports Illustrated]
  • Ref-cams are great for the television broadcasts and additional replay angles, but how about their value for safety and accountability? [CBC]
  • Hockey across America wasn’t just for players. It also gave young officials a chance to meet their NHL counterparts. [USA Hockey]
  • Is the NHL ready for its first Russian referee? Evgeny Romasko sure hopes so. [Scouting the Refs]
  • Linesman Mark Wheler recently reached the 1,500-game mark in the NHL. [CKOM]
  • Do you know which current NHL General Manager is the son of a Hall-of-Fame linesman? [Grantland]