Goaltender interference becoming more frequent

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Goaltender interference becoming more frequent

If it feels like NHL referees have started engaging in a lot more conferences after goals over the last few weeks, its not your imagination at work.

For the Boston Bruins there have been extended discussions about potential goaltender interference after goals in each of their last two games, and in each case the call ended up benefitting the Black and Gold. In Sundays win over the Anaheim Ducks a Matt Beleskey game-tying goal in the third period was wiped out because the refs ruled that Andrew Cogliano was in the crease interfering with Marty Turcos ability to square up and play the shot.

It ended up being the turning point in the game and turned Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau into a red-faced, expletive-tossing madman on the Anaheim bench and according to former NHL hockey referee Kerry Fraser its a new directive from the NHL GMs to call some instances of goaltender interference much more closely.

The mandate from the NHL general managers reads as follows after being agreed upon during the GM Meetings held in Florida last month:

Following the scoring of a goal where there was traffic and action in the area of the crease and goalie interference may come into play all four officials are to come together in the referee's crease. Once in the crease, the team is to communicate all possible information in determining the validity of the goal. The down low ref is still to make a goal or no goal signal on the play and then meet with his colleagues if there was contact and action involving the goalie to discuss the play.

In a unique scenario where a goal is scored and a good goal is signaled, but no penalty was signaled and upon discussion, the linesman is 100 certain that the goalie was interfered with in some way, in the blue paint, the goal is disallowed but no penalty is assessed.

It did appear that Cogliano arrived in the crease and set up camp without any movement -- long before the shot and interfered with Turcos ability to play the shot, and it was the perfect example of the new enforcement expected from NHL referees. Interestingly enough there was another lengthy conference after Bostons game-winning goal in the third period on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning when Benoit Pouliot fired home a shot from the slot while Chris Kelly battled for position in front of the net.

Kelly was bumped around by defenders at ended up in the crease, but it didnt appear the center set up in front of Dwayne Roloson before the shot arrived. The goal was allowed to stand after a lengthy conference, and the Bruins ended up adding two more goals in the final period to pull away from the Lightning.

Two good examples of the new enforcement of goaltender interference and both of them arriving in short order for the Bruins. While the Bs players dont expect there will be a conference after every goal, they certainly have taken notice of the renewed attention to the action in and around the crease during goals. The fact the refs are willing to potentially look at and disallow pivotal goals in the third period of games tells you that its an issue theyre taking seriously.

Unlike the goal in Anaheim that was overturned I was with the defenseman battling for position. I wasnt on my own. It seems like the get the proper calls most of the time. It has happened in the last two games but I dont think it has happened too many times before, said Kelly. The refs want to give the goalies the best opportunities to save the puck. They dont want someone all over the goalie when he is trying to make the save. Thats not fair. If it is a battle in front of the goalie then thats fine for a goal to count.

Kelly appears to be correct in his assessment and theres little doubt this new mandate to call goalie interference is something well be seeing a lot of for the rest of the regular season and playoffs given the refs actions in the last two Bs games.

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 7, White Sox 3

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 7, White Sox 3

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 7-3 win over the White Sox:

QUOTES

* "Where five days ago, he was able to harness things and command the baseball a little better, tonight that was not the case.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That was a momentum shift for us.'' - Farrell on the inning-ending double play that ended the fifth, with Mookie Betts throwing out Brett Lowrie at the plate.

* "They've done outstanding work, when our backs have been against the wall with some early exits by starters.'' Farrell on the bullpen contributions.

* "It's disappointing, (after) working hard on my mechanics the last five days.'' - Owens on his command struggles.

* "It's good to win a series, for sure, against this team.'' - Xander Bogaerts on the win.

NOTES

* Seven different Red Sox hitters produced an RBI.

* The Red Sox are 9-2 in their last 11 and 11-4 in their last 15.

* Hanley Ramirez, who homered for the second time in his last two games, has nine RBI in his last nine games.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 11 straight games.

* The Sox became the first team to beat the White Sox two games in a row at home.

STARS

1) Matt Barnes

Barnes picked up the win in relief, contributing five big outs in the middle innings and stabilizing the game for the Red Sox bullpen.

2) Dustin Pedroia

After going hitless Wednesday night in the cleanup spot, Pedroia was back in the No. 2 hole and got the Sox off on the right foot with a solo homer in the top of the first. He later added two more hits.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Returning from a one-game absence, Ramirez belted his second homer in as many games and also worked two walks, a good sign for someone who not long ago was too often expanding the strike zone.

First impressions: Red Sox bullpen picks up the slack in 7-3 win

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First impressions: Red Sox bullpen picks up the slack in 7-3 win

CHICAGO -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 7-3 win over the White Sox:

* Henry Owens doesn't throw enough strikes to remain in the rotation.

Owens's time was coming to an end anyway, what with the imminent return of Eduardo Rodriguez.

But Owens may have pitched his way out of another start with his outing Thursday night. He faced 16 hitters and walked six hitters.

In every inning he began, he allowed the leadoff hitter to reach. This, despite his teammates scoring runs for him in every previous half inning.

* For a team without a lot of homers, the Red Sox hit their share Thursday night.

The Sox came into the game tied for 11th in homers in the American League, then hit three in the first six innings.

Each one of the homers -- by Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley - came with the bases empty, but together, they helped the Red Sox hold off the White Sox.

Ramirez's homer was particularly encouraging, since it was his second in the last three nights, and like the one he hit on Tuesday, was hit to the opposite field.

* The bullpen picked up a lot of slack.

When the Henry Owens Walkfest mercifully ended in the fourth inning, the Red Sox still had 18 outs to get.

Heath Hembree stumbled some, allowing a run on five hits -- the first run he's allowed this season -- but Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, Robbie Ross. Jr took it from there, chipping in for the final 4 1/3 innings, all scoreless.

Thus far this season, the Red Sox have won four games in which their starter failed to get to the fifth inning. Some of that is a tribute to the offense, which has rallied a few times to make up early deficits.

But it's also due in part to the bullpen, which has provided quality relief and bought time for the offense to catch up.

* The Sox continue to play well on the road.

Through the first four road series, the Red Sox are 4-0-1, having done no worse than a split in their road sets to date.

Learning to win on the road now can be a useful trait for this team in the second half, when the schedule has them playing far more games away from home in the final two and a half months of the season.

* Boston had a balanced offensive attack.

Every member of the starting lineup except one Thursday had either an extra-base hit or a sacrifice fly. Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts, who continues to run hot and cold, was the only starter without one or the other, though he did have a single, walk twice and score a run.

In all, seven different players recorded one RBI.