The Bruins’ 56 goals are tied for third-most in the league.  Of course, that total doesn’t include their league-leading four lost due to Coach’s Challenges.

Boston’s latest loss to the Challenge came Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens.

With the score tied 4-4 in the third, Bruins center Charlie Coyle scored the go-ahead goal.  After a quick glance at the replay, Habs head coach Claude Julien opted to challenge the play.



There’s no question that Coyle’s skates were both in the offensive zone before the puck full crossed the blueline. However, a player can enter the zone ahead of the puck if he has control of the puck.  Here’s the relevant rule:

83.1 – A player is on-side when either of his skates are in contact with, or on his own side of the line, at the instant the puck completely crosses the leading edge of the blue line regardless of the position of his stick.

However, a player actually controlling the puck who shall cross the line ahead of the puck shall not be considered “off-side,” provided he had possession and control of the puck prior to his skates crossing the blue line.

This decision would come down to determining whether or not Coyle had possession and control of the puck at the time of the zone entry.

Rule 57.4, which covers penalty shots, offers a definition of control:

“Control of the puck” means the act of propelling the puck with the stick, hand or feet.

In this case, Coyle appeared to receive a pass in his skates, intentionally redirecting it to his stick.  Nonetheless, the goal was disallowed.


From the NHL:

It was determined that Boston’s Charlie Coyle was in an off-side position prior to his goal.

According to Rule 38.9, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a “GOAL” call on the ice is that the NHL Situation Room, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the On-Ice Official(s), determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-Side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

The clock is re-set to show 14:50 (5:10 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

Coyle’s goal would’ve put Boston up 5-4 with 14:37 to play.  Instead, the goal was wiped off the board. Montreal scored just over three minutes later, en route to a 5-4 win.

This was Montreal’s second challenge of the season. Both were for offside plays; both were successful.


Referees for the game were Francois St. Laurent (#8) and Marc Joannette (#25). Linesmen were Trent Knorr (#63) and Kyle Flemington (#55).