Ref's call baffles Primeau

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET

 One of the areas of contention heading into the post-season was traffic in the crease. As a result, referees were warned to keep it under control.

 But yesterday, the Philadelphia Flyers felt the crackdown was too severe.

  At 6:02 of the first period, referee Brad Watson waved off what appeared to be a Philly goal. Keith Primeau tried to beat Nik Khabibulin by jamming the puck under him, but then fell on the Tampa Bay goaltender.

 As far as the Flyers are concerned, Primeau had every right to be there. The puck was in the crease as a result of the first shot, and when that's the case, any offensive player has the right to go into the crease after it.

 "I went to cut back on him," said Primeau, explaining how the play began. "He didn't bite, so I wanted to come back across to where there was more net.

 "At that point, I was out of room and trying not to go over the top of him. I went down and tried to stay out of his way."

 In fact, he went down because Khabibulin, trying to hit the puck with his stick, knocked Primeau's leg out from under him.

 The puck came loose and Sami Kapanen fired it into the net, but to no avail.

 "What disturbed me was he (Watson) said to Rex (Mark Recchi) that I had given him (Khabibulin) an extra shot," Primeau said.

 "I'm going to the net. I'm trying to make a play and I fall and we score on the rebound. I'm not going to give the goalie a shot when we have a chance to score."

 Watson no doubt had an excellent explanation for the call. But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has ruled that referees are not allowed to explain their calls to the media.


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