Sharks’ DeBoer: Incidental contact rule is ‘clear as mud’

The San Jose Sharks thought they had Game 4 won just over four minutes in to the first overtime period; however, those in the NHL’s Situation Room said otherwise.

From Wysh earlier Thursday evening:

Unfortunately for the San Jose Sharks, [Joe Pavelski] did so from his stomach, while laying on top of goalie Pekka Rinne, have barreled into him on a confusing, controversial play that ended with the Sharks have a goal waved off on the ice and then having the ruling confirmed by the NHL War Room.

The published ruling by the War Room was nothing more than: “At 4:08 of overtime in the Sharks/Predators game, video review confirmed the referee’s call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal San Jose.”

Yeah… not very revealing.

The game went on to see the Predators win in triple overtime. As expected, San Jose was spitting hot venom in the post game. 

Up first, head coach Pete Deboer.

From Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey):

“The explanation that I got was that they ruled he did get his stick on it before it crossed the goal line, so it was a good goal from that point of view, but that he made incidental contact with the goalie. That’s why they waved it off.

“I don’t understand, I guess incidental contact is you’re cross-checked from behind while you are in the air and you have the opportunity to stop. I guess that’s what it is.

“You know what, that rule has been clear as mud to every coach in the league all year, so why should it be different tonight?”

Joe Pavelski, the man at the center of the controversy had a difficult time wrapping his mind around what happened. From Mark Purdy, Mercury News:

“Just coming in, following the play,” Pavelski said afterward, his disjointed sentences trying to make sense of it all. “The puck comes, get it down, there’s guys on me, feels like I’m getting pushed and hammered. Just looking for the puck. I know I hit it in before the goal line. It was just one of those plays, I don’t know. It’s kind of out of your hands.”

Logan Couture’s comment courtesy of Kevin Kurz:

“We were pretty positive it was a goal,” Couture said. “Pavs hit it with his stick and he got cross-checked pretty hard from Gaustad. The explanation was that he had time to stop. If you’re reaching up to get a puck and getting cross-checked from behind, I don’t know where you find time to stop. It’s a weird one.”

As for the opposition, Pekka Rinne was confident that the officials had made the right call of ‘no goal’ from the very beginning. Shocking, we know.

From the Associated Press:

“It was called off on the ice, and I felt pretty comfortable that it’s not going to be a goal,” Rinne said. “Missed a bullet there, so that was nice.”

Indeed he did. 

The series is even at two games each as they head back to the Shark Tank in San Jose for Game 5.