One confusing aspect of the NHL rule book has always been what goaltender interference is. Coaches, players and fans across the league can’t seem to figure out what is a penalty and what isn’t. Such was the case for Bruins fans on New Year’s Eve.

The Original Six matchup between the Bruins and Red Wings saw Boston’s bench boss Jim Montgomery use his coach’s challenge after Detroit’s Ben Chiarot scored in the second period to knot the game at two.

Red Wing forward Michael Rasmussen, in a battle with defenseman Brandon Carlo, appeared to hit Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman’s glove with his stick as the goalie moved to stop the shot.

After a five-minute review of the play, referee Francis Charron announced the call would be upheld.

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“After video review, it was determined the contact was made outside of the blue therefore this is not goaltender interference. We have a good goal,” Charron told the crowd.

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The NHL released further information to help decipher the decision, which was more detailed than what Charron explained. Here is the transcript via

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Explanation: After video review, it was determined that the actions of Brandon Carlo contributed to Detroit’s Michael Rasmussen’s stick making contact with Jeremy Swayman’s glove outside the crease and therefore, did not constitute goaltender interference. The decision was made in accordance with Rule 69.1 which states, in part, that the goal should be allowed because “Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease…”

Because the call was upheld, the Bruins were assessed a two-minute minor for delay of game. Montgomery said after the game he challenged the call because the team didn’t feel they had anything to lose.

“We did think it was goalie interference, and the refs explained what the judgment was and why it wasn’t,” Montgomery explained, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It also slowed the game down. We were trending the wrong way. It was like a long time out because it did take long and it wasn’t an easy decision for them.”

Detroit may have won the call, but Boston came away with the 5-3 win at the end of the night.

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Whether the initial call or the review was correct, Swayman didn’t want to discuss the matter following Boston’s victory.

“It doesn’t do me any favors to talk about calls that already happened,” Swayman said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I didn’t look at the replay very much. I like to think these guys make the right call every time. Again, it doesn’t do me any favors to talk about it. I’m just so happy we got a victory.”

Swayman made 25 saves in the game to earn his 11th win of the season. The 25-year-old goalie and his teammates will have the chance to enjoy New Year’s Day in Columbus before the Bruins face the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

Featured image via Brian Bradshaw Sevald/USA TODAY Sports Images