Why NHL needs a coach’s challenge, Semyon Varlamov edition

 We’re advocates for an NHL coach’s challenge for several reasons, including:

1. The only thing consistent about its enforcement is that it’s inconsistently enforced.

2. Getting goalie interference calls right can mean more goals, which is always a good thing.

3. Getting goalie interference calls right can mean less embarrassment for the NHL and its officials, which is also a really, really good thing.

Last night, the Nashville Predators scored a goal that was wiped away by a goalie interference call. A stupid, stupid goalie interference call. Seriously, look at the clip above: Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov falls down, untouched, and then proceeds to take out Predators center Paul Gaustad with his pads while the goal was scored … and then waved off.

From Adam Vingan of The Tennessean:

Replays showed that Varlamov simply stumbled as Predators forward Paul Gaustad set a screen. Officials upheld the initial ruling, saying there was incidental contact. Predators coach Peter Laviolette had an animated discussion with the referee before play resumed.

"I got an explanation which didn't match with what we saw," Laviolette said. "It's disappointing. We're battling for home-ice, everybody's battling for something in the league and it's just a frustrating, disappointing turn of events right there."

The goal would have been a game-changer, coming 18 seconds after Ryan Ellis tied the game with a power-play goal. Instead, Joey Hishon’s first NHL goal just under six minutes later gave the Avs the 3-2 win.

Again: Give the coaches one challenge a game, and charge them with a delay of game penalty if they’re wrong. Done and done, and jokes like this call will be dramatically diminished.