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Maple Leafs win courtesy a goal that nobody saw

- December 20th, 2013

TORONTO — Phoenix Coyotes netminder Mike Smith deserved more Thursday night.

Much more, actually.

As did his Phoenix teammates, who clawed back from a goal down at the Air Canada Centre to setup a shootout.

Smith, who was near-perfect on the night, appeared to stone Toronto’s first shooter, James van Riemsdyk, on the home side’s first attempt.

When the Buds’ 24-year-old winger slid his shot between Smith’s legs, the ‘Yotes netminder shut the door, hiding the puck beneath his pads as he sat back in the goal.

Both referees looked at each other. Neither had a clue what to call. In fact, there was no obvious signal either way, which led most to believe the call on the ice was no goal.

After all, how could there be? The puck essentially vanished.

And although a majority of Smith’s padding did end up behind the red line, his left pad was clearly still in the crease.

Replays? They were inconclusive, meaning the original call on the ice stood up.

Unfortunately, the referees gave no clear indication as to whether a goal had been scored.

“(The referee) came and whispered it in my ear like ‘it’s a goal,’ and he didn’t really give a signal that it was,” Smith told the Associated Press. “He said he saw it go in.”

Only he didn’t. Nobody did. No one has. Or, ever will.

The officials still counted van Riemsdyk’s attempt.

“It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it goes,” Smith said.

It will also be unfortunate if the Coyotes, who are just three points back of a playoff spot, come back to rue dropped points at the end of this season.

That’s not to say the ‘Yotes would have gone on to win Thursday night’s shootout had the referees got it right, but they certainly shouldn’t have lost in the manner they did.

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13 comments

  1. Jason | December 20, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I guess this guy wasn’t watching the same game I was. Both of his pads were completely past the goal line so if the puck is under the pads it has to be past the goal line. GOAL! Where do they get these guys?

  2. woodsy | December 20, 2013 at 11:31 am

    You can see the ref motion that he recognised the goalie scooping the puck out of the net when he lifted his pad. Good try though!

  3. D | December 20, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Glad they called it a goal, just because the goal can carefully slide his legs out and try to sell it wasn’t past a line is BS. A sensor under the ice could show where it is if the NHL were to cut down on this. Way to many goals have been called no goals because of this cheap move.

  4. Dan | December 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    If there is no clear indication that it is a goal….it is no goal…if you can’t see the puck, you can’t count the goal.

  5. Chris | December 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    His pads were NOT completely past the goal line. About 85-90% across…and also the puck needs to be 100% across. So that’s why there’s some doubt.

  6. Jason | December 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    The front edge of his pad was lined up with the goal line. If any part of the puck had been on the goal line, you would have been able to see it. Since you could not see any part of the puck it must have been in the net. This is why Smith did not want to show the refs the puck under his pads and tried to sneak it out. It was a good goal.

  7. Chris | December 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    The statement in this article that ‘a majority of Smith’s padding did end up behind the red line’ is false. In fact *all* of both pads were behind the red line which was obvious in every video angle. The puck being under those pads would logically also be in the net.

    That being said, I was still surprised that they called it a goal since they have in the past chosen to believe the un-believable/impossible in similar situations.

  8. Bob | December 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Typical of Toronto media – Bemoan a call that is in favour of the home-town.

    The refs agreed the puck was in before the reply, so the reply had to override it. In the reply you can see the puck is near Smith’s skate (Sportsnet guys didn’t catch that) when he finally pushed the puck out. His skates were well past the goal line, so the reply actually confirmed the call.

  9. What? | December 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Uh, Jason, what were you watching?
    Do you really think that there would be that much delay in determining a goal or no goal?
    Typical Leaf fan…

  10. Scott | December 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    “Phoenix Coyotes netminder Mike Smith deserved more Thursday night.
    Much more, actually.” You can’t be serious! Must be a Coyote fan. You cannot say that it was 100% not a goal just as I cannot say that it was 100% a goal. The ref had a better look then either you or I and he called it a goal. End of story. Mike Smith was completely in the net. As a writer you should try and keep your obvious personal hatred for the Leafs out of it.

  11. Sam | December 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    If you slowed down the replay it could easily be seen that the puck squirts out from beneath the back pad as he moves to swipe his pads forward towards the front of the net.
    If Smith is honest about it, he shouldn’t take great pains to slide both his pads forward and out of the net. Every one is standing there watching him. What is his point?. Be honest about it and just get up or lift up his pads straight in the air. Although the front pad is barely touching the goaline, meaning everything else is FULLY behind the goal line, the fact that the puck could be seen moving forward as he moves his pads out of the way, is proof enough.

  12. rick akin | December 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Is Kurtis Lawson the same dude who was so offended by the presence of the ice girls in some NHL rinks ? …thought so , and that explains a lot. Kurt…you should maybe exercise a bit of imagination on your next article . Gotta run , now , for a quick peek at todays Sunshine Girl . ps Kurt…don’t give up your day job.

  13. leafss | December 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    you’re an idiot

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