I spend enough time questioning the officiating when it goes against the Red Wings that it would be hypocritical of me not to do to so tonight.
Replay shows this is clearly the wrong call. The puck was loose and the goal should have been good. But the ref couldn't have been in position to see that.
This is a case where more replay has to be allowed. Either that or more input from the other officials on the ice.
None of the spots on the ice where that ref should have been would have allowed him to see the other side of Howard's pad. Based on a strict interpretation of the rules - the kind of interpretation that the Wings get burned on with "intent to blow" calls - the referee can never make the right call because he will never be able to see exactly what's happening.
The Red Wings lucked out on this one but that doesn't change the fact that it was a bad call made possible by flawed rules. It's time to accept the simple fact that the referee can't see everything on the ice.