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Murphy: No reason to overturn Jovo goal

by Adam Kimelman / NHL.com

"I think the important thing is what we didn't see. The information on the video didn't provide us with an explanation different than what the referee gave us. The referee felt the puck hit Jovanovski's stick and went in the net, that he didn't bat the puck in the net. When we watched it, we couldn't overrule that opinion. We felt it hit the stick or where the stick and the glove came together, but we couldn't overrule the referee. We had to stay with what the call on the ice was, which is a good goal."
-- Sr. VP, Hockey Operations Mike Murphy

It's not what the officials in the Hockey Operations Center in Toronto saw Thursday night at the end of the Phoenix-St. Louis game. It's what they didn't see that eventually allowed Ed Jovanovski's overtime goal to stand.

With 1:23 left in overtime, Jovanovski rushed to the front of the Blues' net and batted in a loose puck.

"We had some chances and just threw it to the net," Jovanovski said. "The rebound came off the (goaltender's) gut there, and I just drove the net. It was high, happened to hit my shaft."

As the Coyotes celebrated, however, NHL officials in Toronto were checking the video to make sure Jovanovski didn't knock the puck in with his hand. The referees on the ice ruled the play a goal, and after a lengthy review, it was decided there was no conclusive evidence to rule otherwise.

"I think the important thing is what we didn't see," Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy told NHL.com. "The information on the video didn't provide us with an explanation different than what the referee gave us. The referee felt the puck hit Jovanovski's stick and went in the net, that he didn't bat the puck in the net. When we watched it, we couldn't overrule that opinion. We felt it hit the stick or where the stick and the glove came together, but we couldn't overrule the referee. We had to stay with what the call on the ice was, which is a good goal."

There was little argument from the St. Louis side.

"It was a goal," Blues coach Andy Murray told reporters.

"It just went up in the air and I saw (Jovanovski) come barreling in," added St. Louis goalie Chris Mason. "I don't know what he got it with, but he must have got with some legal part of his body."

The fact that no one from the Blues was calling to scream at him was not a surprise to Murphy. Not because Murray, Blues GM Larry Pleau and President John Davidson are nice people -- which they are -- but because there's that much confidence in the performance of the people who man the hockey ops center every night.

"We've educated them enough to know about conclusive reviews, inconclusive reviews, about goals and non-goals," said Murphy. "The education process we've put them through the last five, six, seven years, most people know what we're talking about. I listened to both announcers, from St. Louis and Phoenix, after we ruled, and their comments on the air were exactly as we expect. They had the call, too, that the evidence given to us was inconclusive evidence. The GMs would look at this, and even though their heart is in a different place, their brain is telling them it's inconclusive. I think that's been a big benefit for us, and I think it's been a big benefit for them. They can probably make the call themselves in most cases."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com.


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