Mike Murphy, the NHL's Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, spoke with CBC's Elliotte Friedman on Wednesday about the blown "no goal" call which cost the San Jose Sharks an overtime winner on Tuesday night.
"We have in a week two, three or four plays when the puck goes in the net as the whistle goes. What we look for is how strong a referee's signal is, how committed he is to his call," Murphy explained.
"We don't want to undermine the referee... have people watching saying, 'See, see, see, they don't agree,'" continued the NHL executive. "So before we put him on the headset we're looking to see how strong he is on his call."
Murphy elaborated on what he saw during the sequence:
"[Referee Mike] Leggo waves it off when the puck hits the post and starts to come to the net as a scramble develops. [In the NHL's video review room in Toronto] we're still looking at the puck off the post, then see the play with Leggo approaching net, putting the whistle in his mouth and he waves aggressively.
The optics would have been better if we got him to put on the headset and asked what he was seeing... We spoke after the game, I told him it did go in, we probably would get some pushback and should have gotten him over [to the headset] for the optics of the review.
Had we called a goal against Buffalo it would have been wrong, because it shouldn't have been a goal. We should have done the headsets, because any controversy would have died. This type of play is not a rarity."
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