In the Minnesota Wild's defense, they should have carte blanche for rigorous overreaction after losing their best offensive player and/or trade deadline meal ticket because he makes Martin Havlat look like Cal Ripken by comparison.
But the backlash against the NHL for overturning the referee's decision and awarding a critical goal to Johan Franzen in Saturday night's loss to the Detroit Red Wings has been especially spirited. Here's The Mule's power-play tally that tied the game, leading to the Wings' 3-2 shootout win:
That's the Detroit feed the Toronto war room used to reverse referee Brad Meier's initial call of "no goal." Since then, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune has been reporting on the Wild's reaction to that call, including a furious Jacques Lemaire from a story posted last night:
"The league sent us [the replay it used]. I didn't see it was conclusive," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I didn't see it at all. They say it was. I don't see it. When you get a camera [higher than the crossbar] and the crossbar's [lower] and a guy that's 6-2 is holding his stick [angled up], he's got to be over the bar. ... I guess they see something I don't see."
When Meier, 6 feet away, waved off the goal, Franzen didn't complain. The NHL was only receiving Detroit's feed (six cameras, fewer tape machines for replay options and standard definition), as opposed to the Wild's feed (11 cameras, more tape machines and high definition).
"The conclusive view was the enhanced view looking into the front of the Minnesota net," said Mike Murphy, the NHL's vice president of hockey operations, in an e-mail to the Star Tribune. "Franzen's stick started high but contacted the puck at or below the crossbar. ... HD or SD did not make the difference. The key component was the puck was struck at or below the crossbar. That is what we ruled, and we were unanimous in our decision."
Pass or Fail: The war room got it right and Johan Franzen's goal should have counted.