The Montreal Canadiens deserve full credit for their Game 3 win – and their 3-0 series lead – against Tampa Bay, but if you’re a Lightning player, coach or fan, you’ve got to wonder if things would have taken a different turn had Ryan Callahan’s goal with less than five minutes left in the second period counted instead of being waived off for goalie interference.
I, like most people, thought at first that the goal should have counted, but after digging into Rule 69.3 (after reading a tweet from former NHL referee turned TSN analyst Kerry Fraser), I started to waiver.
Rule 69.3 states…
“If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
If, after any contact by a goalkeeper who is attempting to establish position in his goal crease, the attacking player does not immediately vacate his current position in the goal crease (i.e. give ground to the goalkeeper), and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. In all such cases, whether or not a goal is scored, the attacking player will receive a minor penalty for goalkeeper interference.
If an attacking player establishes a significant position within the goal crease, so as to obstruct the goalkeeper’s vision and impair his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
For this purpose, a player “establishes a significant position within the crease” when, in the Referee’s judgment, his body, or a substantial portion thereof, is within the goal crease for more than an instantaneous period of time.”
What’s key in this case is contained within the second paragraph of the rule. Price initiated contact – smartly – and that could then be interpreted throughout the duration of the play that it caused an “impairment of the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal.”
Not surprisingly, the no-goal once again started cries for expanded instant replay. And that’s fair comment. It's something the league should look at in the off-season. In the end, we all just want the call right, right?
But for this one, Francis Charron got it right.
What do you think, was it the correct call?