Kane Extends Streak With Goalie Interference Help
Chicago’s Patrick Kane extended his incredible points streak to 24-games against Nashville on Thursday, but it was the play of Marcus Kruger in the lead up to Kane’s goal that set tongues wagging.
Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne looked to have smothered Duncan Keith’s shot, before the Blackhawks’ centre drove his stick in to the Finnish puck stopper’s left leg, putting Rinne off balance and knocking the puck loose for Kane to jab home his eighteenth goal of the season.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 11, 2015
While the replay subsequently confirmed Rinne did not have full control of the puck, Kruger’s actions directly impacted Rinne’s ability to play the puck within the crease and make the save, raising question marks over what exactly constitutes goaltender interference in the NHL right now.
Guy jams Peks left leg w/stick purposely trying to push him and the puck in the net, if that's not interference … What is ? #CHIvsNSH
— Chris Mason (@ironmason30) December 11, 2015
Predators’ coach Peter Laviolette took the decision to challenge the call, but the on the ice decision was deemed to be correct and therefore the goal stood.
However, for many, like Mason, it was a clear case of goaltender interference and reignited the wider debate on what actually equates to goaltender interference.
At previous meetings of the league’s General Managers, a consensus on what is and is not goaltender interference could not be reached and with the introduction of coaches challenges this season, a number of goals have been controversially washed out as a result of a challenge. Since then, the desire for officials to ease up on goaltender interference calls has become more apparent, but last night’s game suggests the pendulum may have swung too far the other way.
Nashville beat Chicago 5-1, with Rinne named as the game’s first star after making 35-saves.
Check out the full video of the play in question: