Ryan Ellis’ goal didn’t count because of goaltender interference, but then that was overturned only for the play to be reviewed for offside seconds later. All told, Ellis goal celebration had to wait nearly eight minutes.
For all the benefits the coach’s challenge can have in ensuring the right call is made in tight situations, it sure has the power to bring a contest to a screeching halt.
It can also lead to some downright bizarre scenarios, such as Thursday night’s contest between the Predators and Lightning in which a single goal was challenged not once, but twice, after what looked like a goal by Nashville rearguard Ryan Ellis was washed out due to suspected goaltender interference.
The goal in question came with less than six minutes left in the second period when Ellis blasted one from the point that found its way past Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy. Immediately, the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference by Predators’ winger Viktor Arvidsson. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette then challenged the interference, which was then overturned only for the goal to immediately be challenged again by Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper for an offside. That review was inconclusive and the goal stood, but the entire sequence of events was odd:
It’s rare to see a team whistled for interference challenge and win their goal back as the Predators did, and two challenges on a single play hasn’t exactly been commonplace since the challenge was introduced.
You can’t fault either coach for challenging in that situation, though, especially with Ellis’ goal being one that could almost certainly dictate the outcome of the game. With a 3-1 deficit, the Lightning are one marker away from being right back in the game, and a 4-1 lead would have pushed the Predators into a much more comfortable position heading into the final minutes of the second frame and into the third period.
Some fans in Tampa Bay likely took more issue with the overturned goaltender interference call than they did the inconclusive offside, and many more likely had a problem with the fact two straight challenges delayed the game for close to eight minutes.
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