When is goaltender interference not goaltender intereference? When nobody actually interferes with the goaltender. Just ask Braden Holtby.
Colorado Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov caught a lucky break when he lost his edge on Tuesday night. The goaltender fell as he crossed the crease, crashing into Nashville center Paul Gaustad. As Varlamov tried to get back to his feet, Preds defenseman Roman Josi fired the the puck into the net.
Referees Mike Leggo and Greg Kimmerly waved off the goal, citing incidental contact between Gaustad and Varlamov.
“I got an explanation which didn’t match with what we saw,” Preds head coach Peter Laviolette told the Tennessean. “It’s disappointing. We’re battling for home-ice, everybody’s battling for something in the league and it’s just a frustrating, disappointing turn of events right there.”
Yahoo’s Puck Daddy called for a coach’s challenge to dispute this goal. From a practical standpoint, this particular play shouldn’t even have required one. This is a perfect example of how the officials could benefit from ice-level replays to evaluate goaltender interference. Had Leggo and Kimmerly been given a second look at the play – even reviewing it of their own accord rather than through a challenge – it’d likely have counted.
If the NHL is going to make sure their officials get the call right, there are some cases – like this one – where it needs to allow its officials to take a second look at goaltender interference.