On Wednesday night hockey, the Winnipeg Jets did what most teams do and took a commanding 3 goal lead during the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs then responded with a great shift, got lots of next traffic, and grinded out a well earned goal only to have it taken away by a Coach’s Challenge by Jets coach Paul Maurice. Leaf forward Michael Grabner had set up shop just outside the top of the crease, and line mate Daniel Winnik was also just outside the crease to the left of Winnipeg netminder Connor Hellebuyk. Right before the goal was scored, Winnik was pushed into the crease by Jets defenceman Tyler Myers and made obvious contact with the goalie. Both player and goalie slid noticeably across the goal face and Winnik’s arm was caught in the arm of Hellebuyk. While Winnik definitely affected the goaltender and his ability to make the save, all contact was initiated by the push from Myers and Winnik was no longer able to control his actions. The call on the ice was good goal which means that there needed to be incontrovertible evident suggesting goalie interference. Yet after review the call was reversed and the goal was taken away. To me, this wasn’t a case of incidental contact. Winnik pushed right into Hellebuyk and slid him several feet to the right. They then had their arms intertwined. If the ruling was in fact that Winnik caused the interference himself and they took away the goal, then with the degree and consequences of the contact, how in the world was Winnik not given a two minute penalty?
Verdict: This was a good goal. Throw this incident into the file on the enigma that is NHL goaltender interference.