At this point, you almost expect the NHL’s Situation Room Blog to devolve into a Tumblr of crying GIFs.
As much as the league focuses on the minutia of offside goal reviews, the confusion around what does and does not constitute goalie interference is the elephant in the room. On Thursday, that elephant trampled all over the furniture.
Truly, this has become the NHL’s answer to the NFL’s high-profile headaches about what counts as a catch. Such situations seem to have the same potential to bewilder and ruin the fun.
You can see an especially bad example in the video above this post’s headline. Erik Haula‘s 2-1 goal for the Vegas Golden Knights counted even though James Neal broke his stick bumping Connor Hellebuyck in the head. That contact wasn’t as malicious as it sounded … but should that goal really count?
Blake Wheeler strongly disagreed with the decision, even getting profane. Here’s a censored version:
“Well, now it’s bad,” Wheeler said. “It was bad before but come on, (he) [expletive] breaks a stick over his head. That’s not a goal.”
You can see Wheeler’s full take, with the salty (also censored) part coming around the 1:15 mark: