E.J. McGuire, series manager and spokesman for officials, gave his explanation late last night on Marian Hossa’s third-period goal being negated by referee Brad Watson:
“First off, as any of us watch on a replay, it’s easy to make the correct call.
“In the case tonight, the official was down along the goal line. He was moving forward toward the net to try to get a look at where the puck was. When he couldn’t see the puck, all referees’ instructions are to blow the whistle and blow the play dead.
“A combination of the black puck and the black pants may have been a factor. But when he didn’t see the puck, he blew the whistle.”
In retrospect, was a mistake made?
“He didn’t make a mistake. In hindsight, if he had a slow-motion camera to review it, he may not have (blown the whistle). He did what all officials are instructed to do. Blow the whistle when they don’t see the puck. And he didn’t see the puck.
“He said he talked to the players on the ice. It’s an emotional game. He wanted to explain to the players on the ice, as he saw it, the puck was out of sight and he blew the whistle. The assumption was that the puck was covered.”