Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser nailed it on his blog about the Tampa Bay Lightning no-goal vs. the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of that series, on a play in which it was ruled that Carey Price was interfered with by Alex Killorn.
In case you missed it, a refresher on the play.
As our own Harrison Mooney noted and Fraser confirmed, referee Francis Charron followed the letter of the law in waving off the goal. Killorn technically interfered twice with Price: The first time on the initial collision and then when he and Price made contact when the Montreal goalie got up and skated to his left.
From Rule 69.3:
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.
Again, the letter of the law was followed.
It’s just the law itself of garbage.
As Fraser writes:
Players, coaches, former players and fans don't fully understand the rule application or the standard by which the referees are instructed to enforce rule 69. Until this "loophole" in the rule is closed referee Francis Charron and his colleagues will continue to enforce it in the same manner that we saw last night in Montreal. The NHL needs to come out in support of Francis Charron and the gusty, correct call he made. You did what is not only expected but demanded of you 'kid'.
He’s right: It’s a loophole in the goalie interference statute, and Price is one of the netminders that’s taken advantage of it multiple times. From Fraser:
Price knows this rule better than most goalies in the NHL and that is why he threw himself into Alex Killorn inside the blue paint. Price has utilized this rule to his advantage on at least three occasions in previous games.
Here’s a montage Frasier helped produce for TSN showing previous Price abuses of the rule.
Look, we all know why this provision exists: It’s because goalies are coddled by this league. And we all know what the remedy is: a change in the rule book to lessen goalie-instigated interference calls, and having coaches challenges to ensure it’s enforced.