Sunday night, with seconds left in the third period, Connor McDavid scored the game-tying goal in the Edmonton Oilers game versus the LA Kings. The crowd went wild, the horns sounded. Oilers fans were ecstatic and it looked like the game would be going into overtime.
Despite what the crowds all thought, the refs were quick to wave off the goal. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made a sprawling glove save. Though his glove was over the line, it wasn’t his entire glove. Quick’s glove obscured the puck, so there was no way to tell where he managed to grab it.
The call went upstairs for a video review. After watching the possible goal from all sorts of angles, the replay officials ruled that it was in fact a no-goal.
Oilers fans, unhappy with the call, took to social media almost immediately to make their point. Freeze-frame images went up on Twitter, along with 140-character points as to why the call should have been overturned.
Did the referees and replay officials make the right call? The answer is yes. What we have to remember is that in order to overrule the call, the replay officials need definitive evidence. Unfortunately for the Edmonton Oilers, the camera angles couldn’t prove that the puck went over the line.
While other angles of the shot were plastered all over the internet, the only angle that can truly show if the puck was over the line is an overhead shot, and it was obscured by Quick’s glove.
Diagonal shots are misleading, due to a phenomenon known as the parallax angle. Though the puck may appear to clearly be in the net from a diagonal view, replay experts know that those angles cannot be trusted.
It is an unfortunate event for both Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, but it is by no means a unique case. A similar call was made on the Calgary Flames during the playoffs just last season. While the call worked out in favor of the LA Kings on Sunday night, there is no doubt that hockey karma will come back around and help the Oilers out one day too.
Until the NHL finds a way to incorporate x-ray vision into their video replay, shots like this one will be part of what makes the game thrilling and great.