The NHL finally instituted a coach’s challenge this season, granting bench bosses a way to appeal blown goalie interference and offside calls that lead to a goal – as long as they have a timeout.
At 6:35 of the second period on Wednesday night, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock hadn’t used his timeout. So when Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens crashed goalie Jonathan Bernier prior to defenseman Jeff Petry putting the puck in the net, Babcock decided to test the system for the first time in the regular season on opening night.
He called over referee Frederick L'Ecuyer, indicated that he wanted a coach’s challenge, and that set the wheels in motion. L'Ecuyer and referee Dan O’Rourke picked up a small video tablet and began reviewing the play between the penalty boxes.
Replays showed that Plekanec stuck his stick in the face of Bernier before the puck crossed the goal line. The officials briefly conferred, and O’Rourke went to center ice to tell the crowd that “after review of the play” there was “incidental contact” with the goalie, and there was “no goal.”
And with that, the Maple Leafs took a Canadiens goal off the board and retained their time out.
The system worked!
Well, this time it did, at least. Hey, we're just happy the video equipment worked. Baby steps.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY