Even on a delayed penalty, when the whistle will blow the moment your opponent touches the puck, there's always a certain amount of risk when your goaltender heads to the bench. But that risk factor increases exponentially when he heads to the bench and there is no delayed penalty.
Such was the case Saturday night in an AHL contest between the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Toronto Marlies. After Griffins' goalie Thomas McCollum saw an official's arm go up 200 feet from his net, he high-tailed it for the bench to get the extra man on the ice. Unfortunately, the call was going against the Griffins. The result: one of the easiest goals of Carter Ashton's career.
The worst part is McCollum blowing by Ashton in the neutral zone as though nothing is the matter. That's... regrettable.
McCollum can take solace in the fact that he's not the only goaltender to pull this boner -- not even this year. Tommi Virtanen of TuTo in the Finland2 league did it back in February.
Virtanen's was worse, too. Watching him slowly climb over the boards while nobody gesticulates wildly for him to go back is a sad, sad hockey moment.
Ashton's goal tied the game at 1 apiece. The Marlies would add another before completing their scoring the way it began -- with an empty-net goal.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney