Russia certainly felt like it had the rug pulled out from underneath them after Fedor Tyutin's apparent goal was waved off in the late stages of the preliminary-round game against the U.S. The rule was properly enforced on the ice, as the net was off its line by mere inches, but it left fans and players confused.
The disallowed goal has been the source of much consternation in the host country and referee Brad Meier has drawn most of Russia's ire after that disallowed goal. Even Vladimir Putin had thoughts on the call, saying “Even referees sometimes makes mistakes.”
In the NHL, the net can be slightly off and the goal will count, which led to questions about the rule the International Ice Hockey Federation employs about the net being displaced.
According to IIHF president Rene Fasel, this rule is about to change.
Here's the translation of Championat.ru's interview with Fasel via Puck Daddy:
What can you say about the disallowed goal because of the dislodged net?
We will change that rule. To disallow a goal because of two centimeters? That's nonsense. But that is the existing rule, nothing can be done. That's why I think that this rule needs to be changed and officiate the way it is done in the NHL. That's what we will do.”
The rule itself is probably too rigid and it has never been clearer than it was in that key situation of the USA-Russia game. It's an unfortunate thing to have had happened on the biggest stage, but thankfully it wasn't in an elimination game (Scary thought, though: that rule could rear its ugly head yet again in this tournament).
So the IIHF will bend to the extreme outrage, and it should, because it's a bad rule, but it's too late to change the past.
T.J. Oshie is probably pretty glad about that.