SHAWINIGAN, Que. — A video review in hockey can be parsed like a Supreme Court decision. Except it doesn't work so logically.
Suffice to say, the right call was made for strange reasons on a goal by the Shawinigan Cataractes' Anton Zlobin that shifted the momentum in the third period of the MasterCard Memorial Cup opener. The Edmonton Oil Kings eventually won 4-3 — as coach Derek Laxdal put it, "Thank God it didn't affect the outcome of the game" — but it was a definite talker.
Edmonton had just opened a two-goal lead when Zlobin took a shot that squeezed through Oil Kings goalie Laurent Brossoit's five-hole and spun across the goal line. Referee Nicolas Dutil, who's from the QMJHL, blew the whistle so quickly that many in the crowd at Centre Bionest were unsure if the puck was in the net. Then Dutil signalled no goal by waving his arms before skating to the press box to talk with the off-ice officials who were conducting the video review.
First a national TV audience on Sportsnet heard Dutil say he blew the whistle after the puck crossed the line. But there were the troublesome fact he'd signalled no goal and a widespread impression that the quick whistle might have saved the Oil Kings. Needless to say, mass confusion ensued when viewers heard the instruction "go with the call on the ice" and Dutil signalled a goal, cutting the Oil Kings' lead at the time to 3-2.
The play was discussed vehemently on Sportsnet after the game by analysts Nick Kypreos and John Garrett, starting around the 1:50 mark.