First Star, Worst Star: February 21st, 2016


The season continues to barrel faster and faster toward the preseason, and sports stores in Edmonton have started their annual “stock up on name bars for the consensus number one overall pick in the upcoming draft” that has become a hallowed tradition on the streets of Edmonton. And since it’s Sunday that means it’s also time for First Star, Worst Star. 


There’s an old saying that states the best offence is a good defence. And it turns out that the best defence is a diving poke check that denies a sure goal!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Bud Holloway not only has one of the best hockey names to come out of the 1954 NHL season, but he’s also put himself into the conversation for save of the year. 

I can’t confirm that Holloway made this play because he had the support of NHL All-Star John Scott behind him, but I also can’t NOT confirm it either. The Ice Caps would go on to lose the game 4-1, but I mean, still, LOOK AT THAT SAVE! Long live the AHL! 


A lot of things have gone wrong for the Oilers this season; a seemingly never-ending string of injuries, poor play from key players, gaping holes in the defence that seem to widen every year, among other things. Also not helping the Oilers cause this season? The absurd amount of goals called back. Can anyone remember a season in which THIS many goals were called back on the Oilers? Maybe it’s just me but it feels like every 5th or 6th game something will happen and Edmonton will be denied yet another goal. This week alone it happened in BACK TO BACK Oiler games for Gord’s sake!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

First there was Taylor Hall’s no goal call on a delayed penalty against Minnesota on Thursday. 

I can’t really fault the ref on this one, as it was a bang-bang play, he didn’t have the world’s best vantage point to see what was going on, and the puck did stop in the crease before Hall banged it home, so I can understand why the ref thought the Wild D-man had corralled the puck. HOWEVER, is this not the type of situation that goal reviews were put in place for in the first place? If we’re going to seemingly have a coach’s challenge or a review from Toronto on every goal, why doesn’t Toronto call down to the refs and say “the Wild player didn’t actually have control of the puck, no penalty on the play as that’s a good goal”? Seems pretty straight forward to me. 

The one on Saturday, however, I WILL fault the refs for. 

Again, bang-bang play, and the ref looks up to see Taylor Hall steamrolling over Calvin Pickard. No goal call on the ice, fine. But how can the refs or anyone in the situation room in Toronto watch the replay of this and not clearly see that Hall is being driven into Pickard by his own teammate Nathan MacKinnon? Where was Hall supposed to go there? I’m all for protecting the goalies and allowing them to do their jobs without having to worry about getting ran over on every play, but the only thing that would have prevented this is if Hall had not charged the net in the first place. 

For a league that constantly tells us it’s trying REALLY SUPER HARD WE PROMISE YOU GUYS to increase scoring they seem to be doing the exact opposite. And it’s not like this is a problem that is specific to the Oilers; how many other examples have we seen this year where a player is sort of near a goalie and a goal is called back due to goalie interference? The challenge system is still a work in progress obviously, but if the NHL is actually serious about increasing offence then the least they could do is stop waving off all these “good hockey goals”. I mean, the Oilers have enough problems as is, the last thing they need is THE MAN trying to hold them down even more! 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

  • dougtheslug

    A hilarious side note – TSN announcers tonight during the Canucks-Avs game reported that the NHL had apologized to Avs GM Joe Sakic, for forcing the Avs to endure the indignity of a coaches challenge allowed by the refs on the Oiler’s disallowed goal (which the refs overruled anyway). Of course, with the whistle on the
    (incorrect) call on Hall, the play was dead and a challenge shouldn’t have been allowed.

    No word on whether or not the Oilers received an apology from the NHL for being victimized by two blown, potentially game changing calls.

    • dougtheslug

      I was in contact with Gary, he told me that Austin Matthews is within our grasp. So his making sure the refs are going to be hard on us for the rest of the season. Injuries aren’t an excuse Leon draisatl is a man possessed still leading the nhl in points per 60 minutes played, definitely a factor. Be patient fans. For our new arena is on its way to being another Stanley Cup winner.

      Definitely hall eberle mcdavid will have they’re jerseys next to the great one. Austin Mathews is the next great one and we will have 2 of the next great ones on our squad definitely not a excuse but it a factor.

      Bob Stauffer here. Have a good night

      • toprightcorner

        Hi Robert Stuffer, why dont you post Gary’s cell phone so we can all blow up his phone with texts about how digracefull the leage and refs have been this year botching calls after looking at evidence that a blind duck could get right.

      • Devolution

        Agreed Bob, adding a dynamic young forward like Auston Matthews should finally take this team to the top. I know we said that about Nugent hopkins , yakupov , and Mcdavid, but this time it will work. the current injuires to klefbom , nuge and now Gryba have hurt this team, and you cant deny that. These arent excuses , but these are factors.

    • Devolution

      I kinda sorta agree with you. The goal needed to be disallowed because the whistle went before Purcell even touched it, but there is no way there should have been a penalty on hall.

  • toprightcorner

    I think the poor methodology implemented by the NHL, not unlike their draft pick compensation for hiring fired staff members, has actually been the root cause of all of these ongoing missed call even after review. I actually seem to be hating the referees as a who far more this year than I aver had, it is like they never want to admit the were wrong.

    • Seanaconda

      I agree tho the reffing this year has been horrible. Like if they where just consistent about anything it would make me happy. But it’s basically they just call the games on who they want to win. Or to keep the scores close. And Taylor hall was right in his interview the coaches challenge should be a third party cuz the refs don’t wanna look like idiots so of course they will lean towards the original call.

  • toprightcorner

    I will try to explain an easy solution to fix the method of reviewing goals that hopefully the NHL can follow. It seems as though at least half of the disallowed goals probably should have counted this season.

    1) Have a team in toronto, which always includes an unbiased goaltender to review every goal scored right afterwards. Will take about 10 seconds for you average goal and about 30 seconds on a controversial goal. Automatic commercial after each goal to not seem like a delay.

    2)The mandate of the review team should be that the controversial goal will be considered scored unless proven without a shadow of a doubt that it wasn’t

    3) If a goalie dives faking or embellishing contact they should be given a 2 minute penalty, second offence, 2 min penalty and $10k fine, third offense 2 minute penalty, 10 min misconduct and $25k fine. These flopping goalies make the refs job tougher

    4) Any goalie interference should be severe enough to clearly see the prevention of the goaltender of moving to make the save. Thats where the goaltender on the review team comes in. It the offending player is not in the blue paint there will be no interference called no matter what the contact unless it as a standard penalty like tripping

    5) offside challenges can only be overturned and the goal scored within 10 seconds of the infraction without the other team controlling the puck

    6) All goals off of the skate or leg will count, even with a kicking motion as long as the blade of the skate does not leave the ice

    Refs on the ice are completely eliminated from decision process and decision falls on the teams in toronto who have many other view to look at then from a tablet in a box.

    Look at that, only took 5 minutes to solve where it took the NHL weeks to screw it up

    • Devolution

      I have to disagree with number 6. I think that would really change the complexion of the game. I know what you are saying about the skate blade leaving the ice, but still.

    • Time Travelling Sean

      I don’t know why they don’t do that with penalties tbh.

      I mean whenever a penalty is called it goes to TV timeout, so just look it over and see if you got a call right or if there was a dive or something.
      It wouldn’t solve missed calls but it could help correct incorrect calls.

  • Canoe Ride 27.1

    The goal the NHL called good after reviewing it on Thursday was brutal.

    Talbot has the puck covered, then a player hits him and then the puck slides into the net after the contact with the goalie??

    If there was no contact with the goalie the puck wouldn’t have gone in the net.

    How could they refs/NHL screw this one up?

    Oh well at least the NHL will only have themselves to blame when the Oilers get their 5th first overall pick in 7 years.

    So in the end, the Oilers will get the last laugh and will win cups for years to come.