Late in the second period of last night's Game 1 of the (sigh) Eastern Conference Finals, Carolina's Chad LaRose appeared to have tied the game at two apiece. The goal was quickly washed out, however, as LaRose's teammate, Erik Cole, had interfered with the Pens' Hal Gill, sending the mountainous blueliner into his own netminder, Marc-Andre Fleury, thereby allowing the goal to be scored. Take a look:
Not only did the goal not count, but Cole was assessed a two-minute minor for interference.
The call was undoubtedly the right one, but one that brought bad memories flooding back for many a Caps fan, who remember all too well when the same call wasn't made in Game 7 of last year's Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Flyers. Here's the play in question (and I apologize in advance for the year of therapy that viewing this again might undo):
So why did the Philly goal count while the 'Canes tally was erased immediately?
The League explained allowing the Flyer goal thusly:
Washington’s Shaone Morrisonn plays the puck and Philadelphia’s Patrick Thoresen lays a legal body check on Morrisonn. No Philadelphia player makes contact with Washington goaltender Huet (Rule 69). This play is not reviewable.
Of course, no one was looking to apply Rule 69 there (and for more on that rule, check out the bottom of Pepper's post here) - just as Rule 69 wasn't applied last night. In both cases, it's a simple interference call - Rule 56 - and last night the referees saw one, whereas a year ago they didn't (on what clearly was a closer call).
But hey, at least they got it correct this time, right?