NEW YORK – The NHL coach’s challenge is in its first season. Some have been effective and shrewd. Some have been a bit of a reach.
The one issued by the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night, frankly, defied logic and goes down as one of the oddest of the season.
With 9:15 left in the second period between the Panthers and the New York Islanders, Jonathan Huberdeau sped ahead and skated in on Thomas Greiss. He crashed the net, crashed into Greiss and pushed him with his skates.
As he did, the puck deflected off Huberdeau’s skate and into the net.
The play was reviewed by the NHL’s War Room, which determined that it was “no goal.”
From the NHL:
The referee informed the Situation Room that Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss made the initial save before Florida forward Jonathan Huberdeau pushed him across the goal line together with the puck. According to Rule 69.7, "In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed." This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no penalty and no goal Florida.
Then, in one of the most weirdest coach’s challenges of the season and thus all-time, the Florida Panthers used their challenge to contest the goalie interference call. This sent the referees over to their tiny video monitors to review the play.
From the NHL Rule Book on the coach’s challenge:
The standard for overturning the call in the event of a “NO GOAL” call on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that the goal on the ice should have been allowed because either: (i) there was no actual contact of any kind initiated by the attacking P layer with the goalkeeper; or (ii) the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper; or (iii) the attacking Player’s positioning within the crease did not impair the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal and, in fact, had no discernible impact on the play.
We’re going to guess the Panthers were asking about Standard No. 3 on the play, and we had two straight video reviews -- one from the NHL and another from the referees, in consultation with the NHL.
he referees to the surprise of no one upheld the call. So the challenge failed, there was no goal on the play and since the Coach's Challenge did not result in the original call being overturned, the Panthers forfeited their time-out for the rest of the game.
From the NHL:
At 10:45 of the second period in the Panthers/Islanders game, Florida requested a Coach's Challenge to review the "Interference on the Goalkeeper" decision that resulted in a "no goal" call.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that Florida's Jonathan Huberdeauinterfered with New York goaltender Thomas Greiss before the puck crossed the goal line.
Therefore the original call stands - no goal Florida Panthers.
Since the Coach's Challenge did not result in the original call being overturned, the Panthers forfeit their time-out.
So to summarize: The NHL asked for a video review on the play. By its own rules, the circumstances behind the "no goal" were not reviewable in their room of a dozen big beautiful monitors. But the Panthers could ask the referees to review these not-reviewable circumstances on their little monitors instead, with consultation from the NHL, which previously couldn't review the play.
This is like having the Supreme Court refuse to hear a case and then taking it to a district court in the hopes they will.
Panthers coach Gerard Gallant was asked about it after the game:
“I still don’t understand it. I thought it should … I don’t know what the rule is exactly. They tried to it explain it to me. But I thought it was a good goal. My video guy was telling me it was a good goal, and there really wasn’t a call on the ice. The last I’ve seen, he was pointing to the puck in the net and didn’t really make a call. So I wasn’t sure. So my video guy said ‘challenge it’ and I challenged it and it didn’t count.”
Boy was this dumb.
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