New York Rangers’ head coach Alain Vigneault was frustrated after a Coach’s Challenge failed to overturn the Hurricanes’ game-tying going.
“Ask the league,” said Vigneault. “They’re going to spin it anyway so they look alright and that’s the way it always is.”
The goal, scored by rookie Sebastian Aho, knotted the game at three. Aho would score again just three minutes later to give the Canes a 4-3 victory.
“In my opinion, it was the wrong call.”
Vigneault addressed the challenge after the game.
“In all the times that I’ve asked for challenges since we’ve been allowed to do this, this one I’m 100-percent sure I’m right.”
“When we made the call [to challenge the play] initially, the referee that hadn’t made the initial call came to us and said that the reason he’s saying its a good goal is because Antti was out of the blue.”
“His two feet are in the blue paint. There’s contact that lifts his mask and obviously he can’t see the shot. Then they told us that Antti’s feet were in the blue but his head was outside the blue paint, so it was [incidental] contact because Antti’s face was out of the blue.”
There’s no question of contact between Carolina’s Elias Lindholm and Raanta. Based on the call, the officials felt it was incidental.
“I heard the shot and at the same time my mask is on my nose,” said Raanta.
Rule 69 specifies goaltender interference situations:
Goals should be disallowed only if:
(1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or
(2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease.
Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
In this case, it appears that referees Gord Dwyer and Francois St. Laurent deemed the contact between Raanta and Carolina’s Elias Lindholm incidental and outside of the goal crease.
“In my opinion,” added Vigneault, “it was the wrong call.”