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Detroit Red Wings: Another 'No Goal' Call Controversy at Joe Louis Arena

Matt Hutter@mahutter12Analyst INovember 28, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 17:  NHL Referee Brad Meier makes a pointing gesture during the NHL game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers at General Motors Place on December 17, 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The Oilers defeated the Canucks 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

There were a lot of familiar things about Friday's game at Joe Louis Arena.

For the fifth time this season, the Detroit Red Wings gave up a goal less than one minute into the game.

For the eighth time this season, the Detroit Red Wings out-shot their opponent but lost the game.

For the second game in a row, the Detroit Red Wings were shut out.

And, for the second time in as many weeks, the Detroit Red Wings had a perfectly good goal denied by an NHL on-ice official.

All of these trends are disturbing, and all of these have contributed to what is now, officially, the Red Wings' worst start in 20 years.

However, its that last one that is just a bit more troubling than the others.

Playing poorly and beating yourselves is one thing.  That's actually something you can control.

But, the added pressure of having to not only score goals, but then hope that they count is something no team should have to endure.

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Nine nights ago, with the Wings facing the Dallas Stars at the Joe Louis Arena, referee Dennis LaRue decided that a goal by Red Wings forward Brad May was, in fact, not a goal. 

Ostensibly, he "intended" to blow the play dead though video review shows the puck clearly in the net for two-seconds prior to the whistle actually being blown.

The Red Wings were down 2-1 at the time.  Had the goal counted, the complexion of the game would have been dramatically changed.

On Friday night, the Detroit Red Wings are down by one goal to the visiting Calgary Flames and on the power play.

Detroit forward Dan Cleary tipped in a shot from the blue line from defenseman Brad Stuart.

A set play, perfectly executed.

However, referee Brad Meier immediately calls the goal back due to goalie interference.

Once again, upon viewing the replay, one does see Dan Cleary's heels in the crease and he is in close proximity to Calgary goaltender Miika Kiprusoff, but, there is no contact made and there appears to be no effort on Cleary's part to impede his progress.

Of course, these calls aren't allowed to be reviewed, so the referee has no responsibility to ensure that the call he made was the right one.

Still, even without video replay, it is perplexing to understand exactly what Meier saw as goalie interference.

Kiprusoff didn't fall.

Cleary didn't fall on him.

Kiprusoff wasn't stopped short of making a slide across to make the save (both players were stationary at the time).

Kiprusoff's reaction after the puck went in the net (which, in Detroit anyway is no longer synonymous with being a goal) was hardly one of outrage at being interfered with in the crease.

And, most importantly, there was no penalty called on the play .

If Meier truly felt Kiprusoff was being interfered with, it seems strange that he didn't affirm this ruling by calling a penalty on Cleary.

Goals have been scored (and allowed to count, which, in Detroit anyway should no longer be presupposed) under much more difficult circumstances with much more goalie contact than what was displayed here.

However, on this night, just like the one nine nights back, the Red Wings fell victim to what can only be one of two things: incompetent officiating or deliberate injustice.

I tend to believe the former to be true, however, either option is unacceptable.

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