Toronto Maple Leafs center Joe Thornton was having no issue putting the puck in the net on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. He just wasn’t doing it legally.
Jumbo Joe had two goals waved off – one for a high stick, and one for goaltender interference after he pushed the netminder over the line.
Thornton first put the puck in the net in the final few seconds of the first period. He took a pass from Mitch Marner and tried to deke goaltender Matt Murray, who stopped the puck with his right leg. Thornton whacked at the rebound, then pushed the puck – and Murray’s pad – over the goal line and into the net.
You can’t do that.
Here’s Rule 69.7:
In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed.
Note that the rule does not require that the goaltender have covered the puck, merely that he was pushed in after making a save.
Referee Eric Furlatt immediately waved off the goal.
Furlatt struck again less than five minutes of playing time later, waving off a goal deflected by a high stick.
From Rule 78.5:
Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee … when the puck has entered the net after making contact with an attacking player’s stick that is above the height of the crossbar. Where the puck makes contact with the stick is the determining factor.
Thornton argued that it was the shaft of his stick where the puck made contact, and not the blade, which was approximately ear-high on the 6’4″ center.
While the broadcast team mentioned the possibility of challenging the call, teams are not able to challenge goals waved off due to a high stick. They can only challenge for goaltender interference, offside, or a potential missed stoppage. That would include a puck played with a high stick and subsequently played by a teammate, but not a puck deflected directly in. This play can only be reviewed by the NHL’s Situation Room if they determine it necessary to take a second look.
Officials for the game were referees Eric Furlatt (#27) and Graham Skilliter (#24), with linesmen Scott Cherrey (#50) and Bevan Mills (#53).