Montreal Canadiens forward Corey Perry opened the scoring in Game 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on a goal that stood up to a Coach’s Challenge for goaltender interference.
Montreal’s Cole Caulfield fired a shot that was stopped by Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell, moving way out to cut down the angle. The rebound bounced into the crease, past Tyler Toffoli and deflecting off a Toronto player’s skate before ending up on the stick of Corey Perry, who fired it into the vacated net.
Toffoli was clearly in the crease, having skated in there on his own. While he remained in the blue paint, the officials and the NHL’s Situation Room did not feel his presence impacted Campbell’s ability to play his position.
From the NHL: “Video review confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred prior to Corey Perry’s goal.”
Here are the relevant portions of NHL rule 69 on Goaltender Interference:
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.
If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
If an attacking player establishes a significant position within the goal crease, so as to obstruct the goalkeeper’s vision and impair his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
For this purpose, a player “establishes a significant position within the crease” when, in the Referee’s judgment, his body, or a substantial portion thereof, is within the goal crease for more than an instantaneous period of time.
The NHL rulebook provides an example where “an attacking player is standing in the goal crease when the puck enters the crease then crosses the goal line. In no way does he affect the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal.” In this situation, the rulebook confirms a good goal.
With Campbell well out of position and not making an attempt to move across the crease to play the puck, the league felt Toffoli did not prevent him from playing his position.
With the failed challenge, not only did the Canadiens’ goal stand, but the Maple Leafs found themselves shorthanded. Just 19 seconds later, Toronto’s Mitch Marner picked up a penalty for shooting the puck over the glass, giving Montreal a 5-on-3 power play. The Habs took advantage, taking a 2-0 lead in Game 6.
This was Toronto’s first failed challenge since April 6, 2019, when head coach Mike Babcock made an unsuccessful challenge for goaltender interference, also on a Canadiens goal. The Leafs were a perfect 4-for-4 on coach’s challenges over the past two seasons.
Referees for the game were Kevin Pollock (#33) and Eric Furlatt (#27). Linesmen were Scott Cherrey (#50) and Kiel Murchison (#79).