Hours after playing a decisive role in Friday night’s game between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, hockey’s most confusing rule struck again.
We’re talking, of course, about goalie interference.
The NHL elected to uphold Auston Matthews’ late-game, tie-breaking goal in Toronto’s eventual 2-1 victory over Boston, despite seemingly clear evidence of goaltender interference. Bruins players and coaches — as well as past and present NHL goalies — were dismayed by the decision, which played a key role in the Leafs winning in Boston and taking a 3-2 lead in their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
That brings us to the second period of Game 5 between the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche.
Flames winger Johnny Gaudrea scored midway through the period to bring his team within a goal. But the on-ice referees said Colorado netminder Phillip Grubauer was interfered with, and the NHL agreed.
Watch the play in question at the 2:40 mark in the video below:
Let the debating begin.
(You can click here for another look.)
The top-seeded Flames went on to lose the game and the series to the eighth-seeded Avalanche. Was the interference call a series-shifting moment? No, as Colorado entered the game with a 3-1 series lead, and continued its dominance Friday night.
However, the play was yet another reminder that consistency is nowhere to be found in one hockey’s most important rules.