Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar challenged a Stars goal for a reason that isn’t eligible for a coach’s challenge.  When Dallas forward Radek Faksa scored with a broken stick, Bednar issued a challenge to have the officials take a second look at it.  They did, but found no reason to disallow the goal.  The broken stick was not part of that review, as that broken sticks are not eligible to be challenged.  Coach’s Challenges can only be issued for goaltender interference, offside plays, or a missed stoppage. Broken sticks do not result in a stoppage of play.

Compounding the problem was the fact that the Avalanche were given a double-minor penalty for delay of game, as Colorado had already made an unsuccessful challenge earlier in the game.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman hit on the fallout from Bednar’s failed challenge in this week’s “31 Thoughts” column:

The NHL’s GMs meet next week in Toronto. There will be conversations about replay, including two recent rulings. The first involved Colorado’s Jared Bednar, who challenged a Radek Faksa goal last week in Dallas. Faksa scored as his stick snapped seconds after being hit by a shot. Bednar asked for for the goal to be overturned because of a missed stoppage, although a player taking a shot as his stick snaps would not be a stoppage — unless he continues to play with it and gets a penalty. Bednar was not going to win that one.

The issue here is that officials are not allowed to tell coaches they can’t review something. (I believe there are some “hint, hint” moments, but let’s stick to the letter of the law.) We’ve all seen NFL games where referees tell a team something is not reviewable, but the NHL operates from the reverse — that coaches should know the rules.

Basically, what it comes down to is the league doesn’t want games slowed down by lengthy bench conversations. Do you want to challenge? Yes? Let’s go. The problem with Bednar’s situation is that the penalty is severe: that one was four minutes because he had an earlier wrong try. And a few colleagues/executives didn’t like the way he was embarrassed. So we’ll see if anything comes of it.

Here’s the play in question, which we discussed in last week’s Scouting the Refs Podcast.



We’ll wait and see what, if anything, comes out of the GM meetings with regards to Coach’s Challenges.

In the meantime, we’ll just suggest that coaches across the league add the NHL Rule Book to their reading lists – particularly Rule 38 – along with Friedge’s column.