I understand the rule. I understand the need for the rule. What I do not understand is the application of the rule. As I see it, this is a rule that saves the refs after the fact from allowing a goal that should not happen because he could not blow the whistle and the play continued when the goaltender had the puck trapped.
OK, I actually like that. How often have we as sports fans wished the ref could go back in time to right a wrong? Now, here is where I have a couple of problems.
Problem 1. Twice now, once late in the season and once in the playoffs, we have had a goal waved off due to this rule when the puck was still moving without us touching it after the intent happened. This needs to be addressed. If the ref loses sight of the puck AFTER contact was made by the offensive player and he either does blow or fails to and that puck crosses the line, then the goal should stand. The correction would be a simple one. All the rule has to read is this: since a blown whistle or the intent of blowing it can not stop a puck already in motion, then the result of that motion will stand unless the motion was started by an infraction of the rules. See, it's solved. Until they can create a puck that follows audible commands, this will solve half of the issues with this rule.
Problem 2. The ref loses sight of the puck and intends to stop play because he was out of position. That is what happened tonight. I for one try to give the refs a break. Its a hard job, regardless of the sport, but I can not tolerate a blatant bad call or a bad call by a ref who is obviously out of position to make the call. Take tonight for example. The ref is on the right side near the boards of our offensive zone. He loses sight of the puck. He intends to blow his whistle. We score before he does. He waves it off.
Now, what he does not know is that when he lost sight of the puck because he thought the goalie had it trapped, it had actually been deflected away from the net on the opposite side than the one he is on. Now, we all know if he had been behind the net so he could see, that would of counted because there would of not been an intent to blow. Well, this should be even easier to solve and the NHL should be on board with this.
What is the one thing that we as hockey fans hate most, and no it's not Perry? A waved off good goal. Who do hockey fans hate the most, and again it's not Perry? Refs. Who does the NHL try to protect the most, ok, maybe this one is Perry. A close second are the refs. Well imagine if a ref intended to blow his whistle, did not, and after review realized that if he did he would of clearly screwed the call because he was out of postion and cost a team a goal and therefore he was able to make the right call. How much less hate would there be against the refs and the NHL as a whole?
This rule change would also be easy for the NHL to articulate. It could read as this: If a ref intended to blow his whistle but failed and the offensive team scores, and on review the ref realizes that his being out of position caused him to see or not see that he was mistaken about the state of the puck when he intended to blow the whistle, then the goal stands. I know this would lessen my white hot hate for the refs, a little. And as a fan I hate for my team to lose but I am never mad about a correct call. So if this benefits our opponents, so be it, they earned the goal. Well, thats my take, feel free to let me what your thoughts are.