SUN Hockey Pool

Goalie interference ought to be reviewable

Referee Francis Charron waves off a goal by the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period on...

Referee Francis Charron waves off a goal by the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period on April 20, 2014, in Montreal. (MARTIN CHEVALIER/QMI Agency)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:38 PM ET

Upon further review, it's time for National Hockey League to implement video review for goalie interference.

The NHL far and away is the most advanced of the Big 4 North American team sports when it comes to video review. In fact, on Nov. 30, Jay Reid of the NFL's officiating department personally checked out the NHL's Situation Room in the league's Bay St. offices to see what a finely tuned system it has proven to be.

Indeed, on this matter, the other pro sports leagues are coming to the NHL for guidance and tips.

But the waved-off Tampa Bay goal by Ryan Callahan in the second period in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Canadiens on Sunday -- one that would have put the visiting Lightning up 2-1 on the scoreboard -- put the spotlight on a couple of key issues that need to be addressed immediately by the league.

1) Rule 69.3 of the NHL rule book reads: "If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

Was the call from referee Francis Charron right? Probably, if you go by the wording of the above rule, although Charron waited far too long to make the call.

What Rule 69.3 does not take into account is the fact that, once Killorn found himself in the Habs net after leaping to avoid goalie Carey Price during the preceding line rush in which he was helped in that direction by a Montreal player, he was momentarily blocked in there by Habs defenceman P.K. Subban, who did not allow him to move. Then, when Killorn scurried to get out of there, it appeared that Price actually stepped on him.

Moreover, there was plenty of debate as to if the Price-Killorn contact actually had any relevence to the goal. Even without the incident with the Tampa player, there are doubts that Price could have stopped the puck anyway.

In any event, the bottom line here; Correct call of not, Rule 69.3 is flawed.

2) More importantly, goalie interference is not a reviewable play. And that's just wrong.

Isn't the entire purpose of video review to make sure to get "it right?"

These are the NHL playoffs. Seasons are on the line. One goal -- allowed or disallowed -- can be the difference between a trip to the next round and a trip to the golf course.

After allowing an early goal just 11 seconds in and appearing as if it would be blown out of the raucous Bell Centre, the Lightning clawed back in the second period to tie the game 1-1, then appeared to take the lead and the momentum.

Except Rule 69.3 stripped Tampa of both. And, shortly afterward, Brendan Gallagher gave the Habs a 2-1 lead.


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The NFL reviews every scoring play. Shouldn't the NHL do the same, even on goals that are waved off?

Don't take our word for it though. There are NHL puckstoppers like Kari Lehtonen who have suggested that goaltender interference should be reviewable.

Keep in mind, too, that Lehtonen, as a goalie, is one of the guys who benefits the most from Rule 69.3.

During a Vancouver-Dallas game in November, an apparent power play goal by Henrik Sedin was waved off immediately for what the referee in the corner ruled was "incidental contact" with Lehtonen by twin brother Daniel. Afterward, even the Dallas goalie was surprised the goal was disallowed.

"It's one of those things I thought they would not call it, but when you see it maybe there is something but not too much," Lehtonen said after the game. "It happens so fast and I've said it before, I wish they would maybe use some video replay or something just to make them right."

To repeat Lehtonen's words: Using video review "... just to make (the calls) right."

Isn't that the point to having video review in the first place?

X'S AND WOES

You have to feel sorry for the ACL. MCL, heck, any and all ligaments in the knees of Lightning goalie Anders Lindback. This guy spends so much of the game on his knees, it's just a matter of time before those suckers tear, shred, whatever you want to call it ... Lindback made some outstanding stops in the Lightning's 3-2 loss to the Habs. At the same time, he looked like a beer league goalie when he was beaten just 11 seconds into the game by Montreal's Rene Bourque. ... Forget about the impressive rookie stats put up by Tampa's Ondrej Palat this season: This is all you need to know about this kid. In the first period, after missing Game 2 with an upper body injury, he wallpapered the Habs' Mike Weaver. No fear here ... To all the Subban bashers out there: Did you see his brilliance with the puck before setting up Gallagher for the go-ahead goal? That's why you put up with all the other stuff -- because he is a special player.


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