If you're a Wings fan, I'm sure you've already heard about "The Call." It took me a good 12 hours to sleep on it and mull it over before voicing my thoughts on the matter. I didn't want to rush to judgment in a moment of anger. Before I get to my opinion, you can view what happened in the YouTube clip below.
I still feel like the Wings were robbed. Sure, we don't know if the Wings would have won in overtime but Brad Watson did take away our chance for opportunity in my personal opinion. Yes, I understand that there is a rule allowing the play to actually be called dead as long as the ref has the intent to blow the whistle. Can't say I've ever been a fan of that rule. If you watch the clip, the whistle isn't heard until after Hossa scores. It's just so frustrating to see an obvious goal ruled dead and then not even be reviewable! Ugh.
Since some other bloggers said it better than I think I could, I have rounded them up and included them in this post. Just click on the read more link below to read what other people thought of this call.
Casey -- Winging It In Motown:
“And this next item up for bid is the integrity of the referees in the NHL. Any bidders?”
“Going once, going twice, SOLD to the Anaheim Ducks”
Fast forward, May 5, 2009 Game 3.
64 ticks left on the clock. Scramble in front of Jonas Hiller. Hossa puts the loose puck in the net. Brad Watson blows the whistle because he doesn’t know where the puck is. I guess he tried really hard to find it huh? I timed the play. From the beginning of the puck being put on Hiller to the second that Hossa pushes it across the goal line, it took 1.81 seconds.
1.81 seconds is apparently ample amount of time for Watson to survey the situation (from a stationary position mind you) and decide that Jonas Hiller had covered the puck up. You have got to be kidding me. It’s truly rare that you see the refs in the NHL blow the whistle instead of swallowing the whistle like they normally do. This was just the last straw for me in this series so far in terms of the officiating. The Ducks got their go ahead goal on two horrible officiating calls (surprise!!!) in the 2nd period. Detroit's Brad Stuart was called for interference--apparently you're not allowed to check a player less than a second after he plays the puck--and was in the box for the Ducks powerplay. Then one of the Niedermeyer brothers-- I think it was Scott, I don't really care because I hate 'em both--goes and runs over Osgood as he's trying to make a save. No call, puck goes in, Ducks go on the board, I throw a shoe. All according to plan…well, not the shoe part. My main problem with this series is the inconsistency in officiating and how it has worked to the Ducks advantage every game, even the one they lost. I, along with numerous other Wings fans, have been extremely frustrated by the poor officiating in this series.
IwoCPO -- Abel to Yzerman:
I’m trying hard not to turn this into a Detroit against the world thing. But watch that play, you know the one, again. Watch it, then consider the phantom Datsyuk penalty in 2007. It’s not anti-Detroit.
It’s just plain incompetence and we all just sit back and take it.
I’ll tell you this. If the Wings lose this series, after that call, I’m going to strongly consider how I can put forth any more time, effort or money toward a sport that has Gary Bettman as its commissioner.
Matt Saler -- On the Wings:
Brad Watson’s early whistle tonight was an appalling show of bad judgment and may have cost the Wings a playoff game. Had it gone to overtime, it could have gone either way, but now we’ll never know. All because Watson wasn’t competent enough to keep the puck in his sight.
I’ll go into more detail about the rest of the game later, discussing how the Wings could have avoided the situation with a better effort through 30. But for now, the cold, hard fact is they scored the tying goal with 1:04 left and could have taken this one in overtime despite the slow start except for one Brad Watson, incompetent referee.
Greg Wyshynski -- Puck Daddy:
The Detroit Red Wings were jobbed, hosed, robbed, disrespect -- really, pick your terms of non-endearment -- when referee Brad Watson and his intent to blow an early whistle wiped out a Marian Hossa game-tying goal late in the third period at the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3.
Bruce MacLeod -- Macomb Daily:
The whistle. That darned whistle. Ref is out of position and he blows the whistle early, afraid that the puck could be under Hiller and being pushed over the goal line. HORRIBLE whistle. Everyone knows it. Stuff like this happens, however, and makes games like this memorable.
Here's my sanity-keeper on this one ... that goal would have tied the score. There's still just a 50-50 chance of winning (pick whatever number you want, but in playoff OT, it's not going to stray that far from 50-50). So even without that horrible whistle, this game could just have likely been a loss as a win for Detroit. That's just rationalization to keep my own sanity.
It also brings up this point ... the Red Wings shouldn't have been in a position to need that goal that late in a game. The first 59 minutes were just as much a part of this loss as the horrible whistle. Even more so.
Trisha/Lindsay -- Hockeytown Static:
I just... WHY IS THE OFFICIATING DECIDING THE GODDAMNED SERIES?
I don't just mean that goal that was a goal that somehow wasn't counted as a goal because I guess the ref just didn't feel like calling it a goal because he had indigestion or a bird was in the arena rafters and pooped in his eye or he was staring at Neidermayer's ass or something, I mean the fact that half the goals that were counted as goals this series were powerplay goals too. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I remember some idyllic time long ago when hockey was played without penalties being called, because I don’t, actually. Refs have been making mistakes since before I was born, and the world keeps turning. But in this series it feels like the officiating is making an extra effort to impact the final outcomes of these games. Now, I’m not saying that if these two teams had been allowed to play 5-on-5 grab-and-grapple hockey for three games that the Wings would be on their way to a sweep or anything. I’m just saying that I want to be able to someday look my children and grandchildren in the eye and tell them, whatever the outcome, that yes, during the 2009 western conference semi-finals, the better-playing team won.
Detroit4lyfe in a WIM Fanpost:
I drank about three 2-liters of Mountain Dew, got all hopped up for this game, I can't sleep, I have no motivation to brush my teeth, I almost decided to unceremoniously burn my Mighty Ducks trilogy, and I'm expected to go to bed and live a normal life tomorrow after the crap that just transpired in Anaheim? Not L.A., Sue. Anaheim. As they should say in Toronto, we was "hosed, eh." As a result of this "hose job" I will elaborate on, the Wings lost a pivotal game 2-1, and trail the series by the same score with Game 4 on Thursday night.
Kyle -- WTF Holland:
It was the right call. You lose sight of the puck, you blow it dead. There's nothing that can be done to change the outcome of this game, a game that Detroit did not play well enough to win (until the 3rd, and until they tied it and forced overtime OH WAIT).
This is why the NHL is such a fucking joke. The NHL was the first league to use the video review system (I think.. I know they beat the MLB and NBA at least) and they're the only ones who still don't have it right. If NFL refs blow a call, the coach can challenge. If an umpire can't tell if a ball is fair or foul, they can look at it. If NBA refs can't tell whatever it is they're supposed to look at in basketball, they find a way to get it right.
The bottom line, if the points are scored legitimately, they will count. In the NHL, apparently, this is no guarantee. Because the NHL has the most strict and specific rules ever to fuck over as many teams as possible.
Damien Cox -- Toronto Star columnist:
There was, however, some controversy, with the Wings able to make a reasonable case afterwards that they were absolutely robbed by referee Brad Watson of what should have been the tying goal in the dying moments in the third.
On the play, Scott Niedermayer made a horrible misplay under pressure behind the Anaheim net, and the puck skittered in front into Hiller's crease. The Anaheim goalie sprawled awkwardly but never came close to covering the puck, which rolled into the blue paint inches from the goal line.
Marian Hossa tapped it in from there, but not before Watson, inexplicably, had blown his whistle on what could charitably have been called a quick whistle even if Hiller had successfully covered the puck.