The Calgary Flames earned a crucial comeback win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of their second-round series on Tuesday. But in the days after the game, it’s seemed like all anyone in the hockey world wants to talk about is a disputed goal that almost cost the Flames the game.
Late in the third, Sam Bennett appeared to tie the game when his quick shot seemed to cross the goal line. But after a lengthy review, officials waved the goal off, ruling that there was no indisputable evidence that the puck had actually crossed it. That was news to most fans watching at home, although some postgame analysis made a convincing case that the league got it right.
It was a tough call that could have led to an ugly controversy if the Flames hadn’t come back to win the game. As it is, NHL fans and teams alike are still left wondering: When is a goal really a goal?
Luckily, you don’t have to guess. After consulting with a collection of league officials, retired referees, and experts in quantum mechanics, we’ve put together this handy quiz. The next time a controversial goal seems to have been scored, simply print out the quiz, grab a pencil, and work your way to the answer in mere minutes.
1. In the immediate aftermath of a disputed goal, the call on the ice is very important. In this case, what did the referee do?
a. Emphatically waved his arms, signaling no goal.
b. Emphatically pointed out the puck, signaling a goal.
c. Just kind of awkwardly stood there without making any call at all, although we’re all expected to pretend we didn’t notice that.
2. Review protocol says the referee will make contact with the off-ice officials and describe what he saw from ice level. In this case, what did the referee say?
a. He said he believed that the goal should not count, either because it did not cross the line or because it was not directed toward the net in a legal manner.
b. He said he believed that the goal did cross the line in a legal manner and should therefore count.
c. He said he was a bad and evil man and hated innocent people like me, and he was going to chase me and capture me and then eat me, and there’s a giant dragon that lives in his stomach, and the dragon will also eat me because they are both so mean. Hi, I’m Brandon Prust of the Montreal Canadiens.