As the title says, being a referee isn’t easy. While fans watch zoomed in angles on high-def televisions, the men in stripes get one real-time glance to make their decision. Certain things are reviewable, but others – like goalie interference – are not.

(*Side note – let’s just make goalie interference reviewable. Deal? Cool. We solved that issue.)

Last night in the Anaheim, the Ducks tied the game against the Bruins in the third period, which is a pretty damn good thing when you’re trying to make a desperation playoff push. The puck went in, Turco was bummed he got scored on, and the tally went on the board. Only it didn’t.

The refs decided to call that ancient “player in the crease” rule that I thought we all agreed never to mention again unless the player directly interferes with the goalie.

Still, it may have been the right call. I could’ve lived with the goal standing, but on a technicality, it was right.

It got us at theScore curious about some of the worst “no-goal” calls made in recent years. After getting swept up in a YouTube vortex, we’d like to share with you what we found.


This is the worst call of the bunch – the Flyers are denied an OT winner (November of 2010) AND assigned a penalty because Pronger had the audacity to direct on-ice traffic like a good leader.

Bourne’s ruling: Goal, no penalty, brutal call.


Up next is a goal from six weeks ago, in which Rich Peverly skates between an aggressive Ryan Miller and a defensemen to get in front of the net. HOW DARE HE.

Bourne’s ruling: Goal, no penalty, bad call.


The 2011 Winter Classic featured a debatable no-goal call too, this time by Alex Ovechkin. He’s headed back behind the net, gets momentarily tangled with Marc-Andre Fleury, then pops out front of the net to score. This one is just a matter of odd circumstances:

Bourne’s ruling: Ovy’s not trying to do anything malicious. He’s not trying to hinder Fleury from doing anything. But the goaltender still isn’t allowed to play his position, so you can’t allow the goal to stand. No penalty, but also no goal. Your thoughts?


It’s the 2011 playoffs. Habs vs. Bruins. Game six. April 26th.

The game is just getting under way and the Centre Bell is rocking.

That poor ref. I’m not exactly sure where a referee is supposed to be on rushes, but where he is in relation to Thomas and the puck doesn’t allow him to see that it’s clearly loose.

Bourne’s ruling: This should’ve stood as a goal because the whistle shouldn’t have been blown, but hey – the ref lost sight of the puck – what’s he supposed to do?


If you can think of any other terrible no-goal calls (like this Simon Gagne goal that was very likely in), feel free to share ‘em with us in the comment section. I feel bad for refs, but sometimes the errors are just too glaring to not call out.