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Oilers Upset About Goalie Interference Non-Call

The NHL’s new goalie interference review system has once again caused confusion after a controversial play on Saturday night’s game between the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings.

The play in question occurred roughly halfway through the first period, as Jeff Carter helped the Kings draw even with a goal to make it 2-2. Or so they thought.

Interference1

Milan Lucic clearly makes contact in the crease with Oilers goaltender Laurent Brossoit, knocking him down prior to the goal going into the net. The play was reviewed for some time, and the referees ruled (with consultation from the situation room in Toronto) that no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line.

Seriously, that’s what they went with.

They didn’t rule that he was pushed in. They didn’t rule that Brossoit had time to recover. They ruled that it was a completely legal play, and the Oilers lost their timeout.

Interference3

The general consensus from post-game comments and Oilers head coach Todd McLellan’s reaction was, although it wasn’t the official ruling, the referees felt that Brossoit had enough time to recover after the contact, but didn’t make enough of an effort. Therefore the call stands.

However, when you break the video down, Brossoit really didn’t have much time to recover from the seat of his pants. Carter picked up the loose puck very quickly. In fact, from the time that contact is made, to the time the puck is in the net – Brossoit only had 2.7 seconds to recover.

Interference2

As most goalies know, that isn’t a lot of time, especially when you feel that you have been interfered with. Even more so if you have NHL caliber shooters coming down on you! Brossoit did the only thing that he could, and shuffled over to take up as much space as possible – hoping that the referee would make a favourable call.

The goal would stand, and the Oilers went on to lose the game by a score of 6-4.

Even though the goal really won’t mean anything in the long run for the Oilers (except perhaps give them an even better draft position) letting plays like this slide doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the new “coach’s challenge” system that has been in place since the start of the year.

This is certainly not the first time this year that a goalie interference call or non-call has left people scratching their heads.

The system was adopted to help make goalie interference a more black-and-white issue, but seems to be causing more harm than good.

What are your thoughts? Did the NHL get this one right, and did Laurent Brossoit have enough time to recover on the play, or is this exactly the type of play that the NHL needs to help goaltenders with?

To watch the entire sequence, check out the video below:

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer, broadcaster, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario as the voice of the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks for CISL 650. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade. He is currently an instructor for Pro4 Sports, and is the goaltending consultant for the BCHL's Surrey Eagles.

7 Comments

  1. Dan

    If that isn’t goalie interference then every team should be doing that. Knocking over a goalie is a good strategy to score more goals

    Reply
  2. NhlTaintd

    Only a moron that should have nothing to do with hockey would justify this goal.

    Reply
  3. Ray

    Wanting to reduce the amount of equipment a goalie wears and now be able to take their feet out! This how goalies get hurt. I don’t agree with this call at all. He was clearly in his crease.

    Reply
  4. MYL

    I agree wit the article.
    Correction: Oilers’ Head Coach is Todd McLellan, not Paul McLellan.

    Reply
  5. Ralph

    This IS goalie interference but Lucic, who is one of the dirtiest players in the league, is one of the NHL glory boys so it won’t be called.

    Reply
  6. Mike

    Absolutely without question it’s goalie interference. The goalie has a right for that space in and around the goal crease to be ready to make a save . The contact by Lucic clearly took that away from the goalie before the puck arrived. Remember Lucic steamrolling Miller . I would love to see a goalie go Hextall on Milan then he might think twice .

    Reply
  7. Dave

    Refs are afraid of Sutter.. L.A. Gets all the breaks. Obviously interference refs should have to publicly explain their calls.

    Reply

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