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Montreal's six men on the ice



I'm not breaking any news by telling you the Montreal Canadiens got away with having six men on the ice late in the second period of Game 5 4 Friday night. This screengrab was spread around pretty good over the weekend, and it's not particularly vague. This might be especially annoying to Caps fans, whose team has picked up too-many-men calls in two straight games.

But Saturday morning, Bruce Boudreau suggested the Habs had six men on the ice for around 20 seconds. When I heard that, I assumed he was exaggerating for effect. Then I started wondering how long the infraction actually lasted.

The Official Time On Ice report was no help. According to its numbers, the Habs swapped players with 1:02 left and never went above five men.

Well, this is why DVR was invented, I guess. So given the choice between playing with my daughter or obsessively rewinding a three-day old game and taking photos of my television screen, I chose the latter. Some of these images were unavoidably blurry, and the camera wasn't always pointing where I wanted it to, and for that I apologize. Now let's have some fun.


With 1:09 remaining in the second period, winger Travis Moen raises his hand to call for a line change. You can see him here, at the top of the screen. As he skates toward the bench, a teammate just behind the official -- I believe it's Scott Gomez -- begins to climb over the boards.




But hold everything. Before that teammate makes it over the boards, another forward, whom I believe to be Tom Pyatt, jumps onto the ice. You can see him here, just behind the CSN logo at the top of the screen. Behind the word "2nd," Moen is getting off the ice. Simple one-for-one swap.




Except the first forward continues doing what he's doing. You can see his blurry image here, right above "WSH." That means, with 1:08 remaining in the period, the Habs have taken one forward off the ice and replaced him with two forwards. That's technically against the rules.

The official TOI report, I should note, admits that both Gomez and Pyatt entered simultaneously, though it lists the time at 1:02. And the official report also has Moen exiting the ice at 1:02. So how does it get around the 1-for-2 swap? Why, it says that Dominic Moore, who wears No. 42, also came off the ice at 1:02.




Except here's Moore (42), checking Boyd Gordon into the boards, at the lower right-hand corner of your screen. If you'll kindly count the white shirts on the screen, you'll note that one hand isn't enough. Unless you killed Inigo Montoya's father.




Still six of 'em. Moore, who becomes the key player in this drama, is now skating with Gordon toward the net.




Now Moore peels off to stick with Jason Chimera. Still six, by the way.




Moore remains with Chimera. You see that stick barely entering the screen all the way on the left? That's Maxim Lapierre's, as you'll see in a second. The point is, there's still six of 'em out there.




Lapierre (40) enters the frame, and Moore exits it to the right, since the camera is following the puck. I don't know exactly when the extra-man penalty kicks in, but in terms of bodies on ice, the Habs have now been skating six guys for more than 15 seconds. If you assume that as soon as he got out of the frame, Moore beat a direct path to the bench, then the time of the infraction would be 15.5 seconds, plus however long that journey took. (Or the journey to within five feet of the bench, I suppose.)




Anyhow, after Gomez (91) digs the puck out, above, his teammates move in the opposite direction. Here are Pyatt and Andrei Markov, coming back the other way.

At the top of the screen is Lapierre, who is preparing to get off the ice. The official report says both he and Ryan O'Byrne (20) were removed with 46 seconds left. If Moore were somehow still trailing the play -- and, unless I'm missing something, that's a real possibility, based on the available footage -- he would have skated a shift of 1:18, and the six-men thing would have lasted about 20 seconds.

Either way, it was long enough that you'd assume someone -- other than random viewers with cameras and pause buttons -- would have noticed

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 25, 2010; 10:39 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

Well, if you want to believe that there's some kind of league conspiracy against the Caps, this and the lack of a game misconduct or suspension for the Hossa hit that is eerily similar to the Ovechkin hit certainly provide some fodder. Never really bought it, though--Ovechkin going far in the playoffs is good for the league, since he gets the most coverage of any hockey player in places like ESPN.

Let's just finish this thing off Monday night in Montreal.

Posted by: TheFingerman | April 25, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

This is just like when Kennedy was shot.

The next Zapruder film? Could be, Steinz. Could be.

Posted by: ogdennash | April 25, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Gotta follow rule #1: if Gabby says so, believe it.

Posted by: outrbnksm | April 25, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

At a minimum, the NHL should issue a statement on the (glaring) mistake by the refs. This happens in other pro leagues (NFL, NBA, etc.) -- when the refs screw up, the league officiating office either issues an explanation, a clarification, or an apology. Why has the NHL been silent? Why hasn't the press been asking them?

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 26, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

I can live with 6 men on the ice a lot more than having one of your players get hit with a high stick and no penalty was called and the announcers brushed it off as accidental and Backstrom get hit with the penalty when he is knocked off his feet falling down going for the puck. Wheres the justice?

Posted by: rillbizi | April 26, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

I'd be way more het up about both this and the Bergeron high stick if the Caps hadn't otherwise played so horribly. Sure, a double minor or a major for the high stick would've been nice, but can we pretend with straight faces that it necessarily would've mattered? I think not.

Posted by: Landru | April 26, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Also, don't forget the non-call on the slash. The front official clearly indicated a slash, and then when they came back from the commercial break, the only call was a too many men penalty. Not sure where in the rule book it says if you have 6 men on the ice, any subsequent penalties are voided.

Posted by: Chucks20707 | April 26, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

With the way Halak was playing that night, it wouldn't have mattered if they'd have called that or not.

But it's still pretty funny, it's like one of the most basic rules - having too many dudes on the ice, and not one ref caught it? That one pic @59.5 is my favorite - the ref is right there! He's probably looking too intently for something, anything to whistle Bradley for that he can't be bothered with silly things like how many men Les Habs have on the ice.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 26, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Nice deconstruction of an egregiously missed call. Let's just win this sucker tonight and not leave things to chance Wednesday. But we're not going too far unless the PP gets going.

Posted by: jhershb | April 26, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Is really all that hard to figure out???

The Caps-Canadiens series has been one of the higher rated first round series for the NHL so of course they're going to milk it for all it's worth.

http://puckthemedia.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/viewership-for-the-first-seven-nights-of-the-stanley-cup-playoffs-on-versus/

The proof in the pudding is whether or not the on-ice officials for Friday's Game 5, Dennis LaRue, Chris Rooney, Derek Amell, and Scott Driscoll will be allowed to continue on in playoffs this year.

Don't bet on it because LaRue and Driscoll were half of the officiating crew who did the exact same thing in the Game 3 of the Detroit-Pittsburgh series last year. Both of them were then allowed to work Game 5 of that series after allowing the Penguin Scum to have 6 skater and a goaltender on the ice for 21 seconds.

Posted by: CapsNut | April 26, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Bad calls and no calls are part of the game. The Caps lost the game, not the referees. The Caps had opportunities to score, but failed to do so.

Having said that I did take a bit of exception to the Belanger non call because it resulted in injuring a player and was a dangerous play. But, they missed it and these things happen.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | April 26, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey Dan,
Why would anyone say this doesn't matter? The Caps would've had another power play in a one-goal game. That matters.
20 seconds is forever when you're talking about Too Many Men.
The NHL should apologize for having missed a glaring violation.
Also - Friday night's game was game 5, not 4 eh?

Posted by: gary9smith | April 26, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

As a habs fan, I read your comments and it's funny how they resemble ours. Through all the games, we had much-much to say about how badly the refs controlled the game, and needless to say it looks like it was equal on both sides. As for the too many men on ice, that was a clear call and they badly missed that one. On the other hand, the no-call on Bergeron was ok since his snap-shot was already started when Belanger charged him...

Anyhow, I hope you all enjoy tonight's game as Washington still struggles against the weakest of all 16 playoff teams ;)

Posted by: Porhy | April 26, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

A four-minute PP is better than a 2-minute power play (even for the postseason's punchless PP Caps).
The Belanger non-call, written off to 'follow-through' was ridiculous: the perp brings his stick up an obvious moment after and separate from his *passing* motion.
I accept that missed calls are part of Life's Rich Pageant. But the NHL clogged up the ice with an extra ref, and built Big Brother a studio in TOR--and they still make more insipid, inconsistent, inexplicable calls than anyone but WWF.
Boo.

Posted by: redlineblue | April 26, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

this sucks how do u miss that, does NHL office know what took place because these referees are becoming laughable

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | April 26, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

There is no conspiracy but officiated in NHL pretty much sucks compared NBA or NFL. Umpires in baseball trump them all however, the stuff they call is just plain ridiculous....NHL officials need to call it fair non-stop, from beginning to end, regulation or OT, no lame*ass "make-up" calls. Not all teams play the game equally well or mistake free..

Posted by: gatsu | April 26, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

There is no conspiracy but officiated in NHL pretty much sucks compared NBA or NFL. Umpires in baseball trump them all however, the stuff they call is just plain ridiculous....NHL officials need to call it fair non-stop, from beginning to end, regulation or OT, no lame*ass "make-up" calls. Not all teams play the game equally well or mistake free..

Posted by: gatsu | April 26, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Unbeleiveable. I get the call in game 5 because it was obvious Varly was coming in and Fehr jumped out(though he shouldn't of until Varly was ON the bench) but you'll get away with that. You won't get away with the goalie going back to the crease and no one coming off. But how you miss 6 men on the ice for 20 seconds with 2 refs and 2 linesman on the ice is ludicrous.

I'm all for no calls and letting the boys play on infractions and the like, but you can't "let the boys play" a 6 on 5.

Posted by: breaklance | April 26, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

CRYBABIES! Betcha you're scared. Be real scared when the Fly Boys head down to DC along with their fans to kick some Cap butt.

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 26, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

And the six guys are not all over the rink...in the first pic, they are clearly all deep in their defense. One would hope the NHL acknowledeges this lapse.

Posted by: minhle1 | April 26, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Conspiracy against the Caps, NO. Conspiracy in favor of Pittsburgh, YES.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I was and still am upset about this. A poor performance on the part of the Caps does not excuse a missed call as blatantly outrageous as this. As Locker noted, the refs should have called two penalties, not one. The Caps have a responsibility to play well as professionals as do the refs have a responsibility to call a fair game and penalize appropriately. A 5v3 most certainly would have guaranteed a goal, and we all know the Habs struggle with protecting leads. We could be having an entirely different discussion right now.

The refs better come prepared. Blown calls may be a part of the game, but when several obvious and significant ones are missed in one game or only one side is penalized for similar infractions, then it will only encourage skepticism among fans. The NHL already has had its hands full this year with rule inconsistencies. They cannot have it in the playoffs.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 26, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

woow a 5 on 3 is a guaranteed goal? I have seen many 5 on 3's that no goal was scored, where they informed that it was supposed to be guaranteed?

Posted by: cocorules | April 26, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

CRYBABIES! Betcha you're scared. Be real scared when the Fly Boys head down to DC along with their fans to kick some Cap butt.

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 26, 2010 11:43 AM


hahahahahaa! Caps will dominate the cryers. Just like you dominated the devils after dominating them in the reg season. the Caps struggled with the Habs in the reg season as well. No one is afraid of the cryers or their fans.

Posted by: Chase4 | April 26, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

nyhow, I hope you all enjoy tonight's game as Washington still struggles against the weakest of all 16 playoff teams ;)

Posted by: Porhy | April 26, 2010 10:55 AM

The Caps struggled with the Habs in the reg season as well. Not a surprise they are struggling now. Once they dispose of the Habs, they will be fine.

Posted by: Chase4 | April 26, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Haha, all that aside, nice Princess Bride reference.

Posted by: EYoung77 | April 26, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

How do you have 4 officials on the ice and not one of them looks to see that it is crowded on the ice?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | April 26, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

tonights game will be dominated by the Caps. no need to explain why, they just will. filthy flys might as well get the team packed up and on the way for rd 2 in Wash.

Posted by: STEVE4710 | April 26, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The missed high stick on Belanger was even worse as it was in open ice, resulted in a major injury, and all 4 on ice officials could have called it. There is no such thing as an 'accidental' high stick to the face IMO as most of the penalties occur in scrums along the boards or in front of the net. If the refs did their jobs in Game 5, we would have had two additional PP's.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 26, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

If you can count the Habs on one hand, "Prepare to die."

Posted by: tailwagger | April 27, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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