We’ve had reviews. We’ve had challenges. We’ve never had a double-challenge on the same goal.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators put the Coach’s Challenge system to the test, with both teams requesting a goal review and all four officials involved in reviewing the same play.
The goal was initially waved off by referee Garrett Rank, citing incidental contact with the goaltender. Preds head coach Peter Laviolette challenged the play, as contact took place outside of the goal crease and appeared to have been initiated by Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. After reviewing the replay with fellow ref Kevin Pollock, Rank overturned his initial call and awarded the goal to Nashville’s Ryan Ellis, giving Nashville a 4-1 lead.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson did not interfere with Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy before the puck crossed the goal line.
This is just the second challenge all year that’s overturned an initial ‘no-goal’ call, allowing the goal to stand when review helped the officials determine that there was no goaltender interference.
With the goal on the board, Tampa’s Jon Cooper opted to challenge, arguing that the Predators were offside prior to scoring the goal. Linesmen Steve Barton and Steve Miller headed to the penalty box to review the play. After a few minutes of comparing camera angles, the replay was found to be inconclusive. The call on the ice stood.
According to Rule 78.7, “if a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the On-Ice Official(s) will be instructed to confirm their original call.”
Sure, it took two challenges and caused an eight-minute stop in the action, but the Coach’s Challenge helped the officials make the right call. Right?