Seriously, if I don't vent I might lose my mind. If you go back to the Thrashers game Friday night against Carolina, on two different occasions, a delayed penalty was called against the home team. And twice, the home team touched the puck which normally whistles the play dead.
Not on this evening.
Instead, the referees overseeing the game (Eric Furlatt and Dan O'Rourke) allowed play to continue until a Thrashers defender fully gained possession of the puck. In defense of Furlatt and O'Rourke, their decision to allow play to continue was the right call. But come on people, for the love of power plays everywhere, let's get some consistency within this rule.
As for the rule, here it is, according to the 2008-09 NHL Rule Book:
"15.1 Calling a Penalty - Should an infraction of the rules which would call for a minor, major, misconduct, game misconduct or match penalty be committed by a player or goalkeeper of the side in possession of the puck, the Referee shall immediately blow his whistle and penalize the offending player or goalkeeper.
Should an infraction of the rules which would call for a minor, major, misconduct, game misconduct or match penalty be committed by a player or goalkeeper of the team not in possession of the puck, the Referee shall raise his arm to signal the delayed calling of a penalty. When the team to be penalized gains control of the puck, the Referee will blow his whistle to stop play and impose the penalty on the offending player or goalkeeper."
Without a doubt, the National Hockey League needs to revisit this rule with all of it's officials. Believe me, I'm in favor of the zebras allowing play to continue until the penalized team is in full control of the puck. It creates additional offensive chances, especially with the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker. But as a fan, I want consistency. Whether I'm at a game in Atlanta or watching one from San Jose, I want the standard to be the same. Some officials, like Furlatt and O'Rourke, get it right. Others aren't as sharp as witnessed when a play is blown dead when the penalized team simply touches the puck.
Sorry....just had to get that one off my chest!