It was a wild sequence that was only made wilder by the in-arena entertainment team jumping the gun. Nate Schmidt slid a backhand towards the goal and Oscar Lindberg collected the rebound to score, but while that was going on two Blackhawks and Tomas Nosek were all sent crashing into Corey Crawford creating a mess in front of the goal.
The puck was in the net, as were multiple players, the net was dislodged, and Crawford was asking for goalie interference. There was quite a bit to sort out, and unfortunately, it’s not always clear what’s exactly going on. So, here’s a look at exactly what happened and why each call was made the way it was per the NHL Rulebook.
What were the calls on the ice?
The play was initially ruled no goal because the net was dislodged before the puck crossed the goal line. The officials then reviewed the play and determined the puck did cross the line prior to the goal coming off, but there was goaltender interference. This determination is made by the officials in the arena. Vegas then challenged the call, thus sending the review to the NHL Situation Room in Toronto. Toronto confirmed that there was goalie interference and the play shall be ruled no goal.
Why was the play reviewed originally?
NHL rules allow officials in the arena to review goals under nine difference circumstances (posted at the end of this article). The puck crossing the line prior to the goal being dislodged is one of the nine. Once the review is initiated, the officials are now also allowed to determine goaltender interference.
So if the play has already been reviewed, why did Vegas get to challenge and subsequently lose their timeout?
The initial review is triggered by one of the nine circumstances that allow for review. The decision to review the play is made by the “Video Goal Judge.” Coaches are only allowed to challenge under two circumstances (goalie interference and offside). The Video Goal Judge and in-arena officials make the determination on video reviews triggered by one of the nine circumstances, the NHL Situation Room in Toronto has the final decision when a coaches challenge is made.
So, Vegas challenged the official’s decision and wanted the Situation Room to make a ruling on the play. The Situation Room agreed with the ruling and thus Vegas loses their timeout.
Does there have to be conclusive evidence to overturn the in-arena officials decision?
If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the original call on the ice will be confirmed. -NHL Rulebook, Rule 78.7
Why does that matter in this case?
It’s the only reason why there are two reviews. Part of the process for the coaches challenge is that there is an “original call on the ice.” Without an original call, the Situation Room does not have a standard as to which they must overturn. The call on the ice is the standard and only conclusive evidence can overturn that call. So, the in-arena officials have to make their ruling before they send it to Toronto. They made their ruling in the first review, the Situation Room made theirs in the second one.
The standard practice is that if the call is “confirmed” it means there is video evidence to support the ruling on the ice, if the call “stands” it means there was not video sufficient evidence to overturn the call and thus the call on the ice was used.
In the case of this call, the NHL “confirmed” the goalie interference.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Referee, the Situation Room confirmed the “no goal” call because the actions of Vegas’ Tomas Nosek caused Chicago’s Andreas Martinsen to contact Corey Crawford prior to the puck crossing the goal line. -NHL Situation Room
How does the NHL define goaltender interference?
The entire rule, which is long and quite drawn out, is posted at the bottom of this article, however, there’s one portion that explains it fairly succinctly.