Oilers’ loss to Avalanche leads to questions about coach’s challenge

The coach’s challenge was designed to ensure improper goals aren’t counted, but Taylor Hall is starting to think the process misses the mark.

The coach’s challenge was instituted this season to ensure improper goals aren’t counted, but Taylor Hall is starting to think the process misses the mark.

The Edmonton Oilers left winger criticized the procedures for reviews of debated NHL goals following his team’s 3-2 home loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

“This coach’s challenge is tough. You’re asking the referee to admit he’s wrong in front of 18,000 people by watching a six-inch tablet,” Hall told reporters afterwards. “And the Wi-Fi in our rink is mediocre at best. That’s what we’re relying on?”

The play that caused Hall’s annoyance came midway through the third period.

Trailing by two goals, Hall and the Oilers believed they had narrowed the gap to one thanks to a tally by right winger Teddy Purcell.

However, Hall was called for interfering with Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard at 11:14 and the goal was waved off. Avs right winger Nathan MacKinnon bumped Hall before he crashed into Pickard.

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan challenged the play, but referees TJ Luxmore and Kyle Rehman upheld the call on the ice. Hall was sent to the box, too.

“I feel like we’d be better served if this went to a third party,” Hall continued. “There has to be some kind of mediator here. It’s not in our nature to admit we’re wrong.

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“It goes both ways. I’m not going to sit here and pout because I’ve had some goals taken away. It’s frustrating, no doubt. But I feel like there’s a better way to get it right.”

Hall wasn’t happy with the process or the decision. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy wasn’t exactly pleased either.

Because of the delayed penalty to Hall on the play, Roy questioned why the Oilers were even permitted to challenge the call on the ice.

Colorado was involved in a similar situation in its previous game, a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

Right winger Jarome Iginla was deemed to have knocked Canadiens netminder Ben Scrivens while screening him in the second period. Iginla was going to be called for interference. As he touched the puck, the whistle blew as he shot it into the net. The goal was disallowed and Iginla was penalized.

“It should not have been a challenge because it was a penalty. That’s what the league told us,” Roy said to reporters in Edmonton. “I was surprised there was a challenge. When there’s a penalty, as soon as (Purcell) touched the puck, the play should have been dead. That’s what happened to us the last game. That should not have been a challenge on that play.”