SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers' Peckham sees hole-y irony

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:42 AM ET

PHOENIX — It had caught Theo Peckham’s eye during the warm-up.

The Edmonton Oilers defenceman noticed the holes cut out for still photographers in the glass were rather large.

It proved to be an ominous observation.

“The size of the hole is big,” Peckham said. “They’re everywhere, there’s a bunch by the penalty box, too. It’s funny, I was skating around in the warm-up, and I was looking at those holes, wondering if pucks ever go through those holes. Then sure enough, I get two minutes for delay of game because of them.”

Peckham was the victim of an unfortunate bounce during the Oilers 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

With his team up by a pair of goals, the Oilers defenceman went to clear the puck out of his zone and had it fly through one of the camera holes in the glass.

The play happened so fast, the officials on the ice assumed the puck had to have gone over the glass.

Peckham was assessed a two-minute minor for delay of game. The Ducks went on to score eight seconds into the power play. They then tied the game 22 seconds after that.

“It was a tough play, it looked like it went straight out,” Peckham said. “But I figured by my reaction alone, the referee would believe me a little bit.

“I was just yelling at him. I don’t know what he said back. He looked at me, then looked at his partner and told me to get in the penalty box.”

Replays showed the puck had actually gone through the glass and not over it, but at that point, the penalty had already been assessed.

Following the contest Bob Hall, the NHL’s senior officiating manager issued a statement admitting the wrong call had been made.

“What happened in real time on the ice was the puck went out of play,” Hall said. “The referee that was right in the corner didn’t see how it left the ice. He went and conferred with two of the other officials on the ice. They put the pieces of the puzzle together and they came out with it was shot out, which we all know now in seeing it on the replay that it was not the correct call.

“It is not a reviewable play. Our video review process doesn’t allow us to do stuff like that.”

Despite the call, the Oilers were still able to pull out the victory as Ales Hemsky restored the Oilers’ lead with an impressive goal in the third period.

Tom Gilbert was then awarded the fourth as Corey Perry inadvertently put the puck into his own empty net.

“After I calmed down in the penalty box, I thought it was pretty ironic that I was thinking about it in the warm up,” Peckham said. “I looked at it and seeing if I can get my arm stuck in it or something. It’s a pretty big hole and I wanted to see how deep it was. I didn’t want to get twisted up in it or anything.

“It’s like winning the lottery, I guess. You don’t think it’s ever going to happen, and then it happens. I can laugh about it now.”

While having never seen a puck go through a camera hole in the past, Peckham was not ready to concede when it was suggested the play was a once-in-a-lifetime occurance that could not be repeated even if he tried.

“Let’s pump the breaks on that one a little bit,” he smiled. “I could probably hit that five out of 10 times if I tried.”

Odds are good they’ll be trying during the morning skate, prior to Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

“It was one of those bad breaks that you have to try and work through,” said Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert. “It’s a good sign of our character to be able to battle through that. Sometimes there are plays in a game that turn it and that could have been one of them.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/DerekVanDiest


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