The Philadelphia Flyers wanted to challenge a Montreal Canadiens goal scored off a missed hand pass. Rule 38 says they can; the officials said they couldn’t.

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher pushed the puck across the crease with his glove, right to center Mike Hoffman who scored to cut the Flyers lead to 2-1.



Philly head coach Mike Yeo looked ready to challenge the play.  It appeared he was never given the opportunity.

Referee Eric Furlatt skated by the official scorer with a wave and the puck was dropped to resume the game.


The Flyers should have – and could have – challenged that goal.

Rule 38.2 covers plays eligible for a Coach’s Challenge:

A team may … request a Coach’s Challenge to review [a] Missed Game Stoppage Event in the Offensive Zone Leading to a Goal – A play that results in a “GOAL” call on the ice where the defending team claims that the play should have been stopped by reason of any play occurring in the offensive zone that should have resulted in a play stoppage caused by the
attacking team but did not.

So, what – you may ask – is considered a missed stoppage? Skip to Rule 38.10, which was added after the 2018-19 season:

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 the play should have been stopped but was not at some point after the puck entered the attacking zone but prior to the goal being scored; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.

Potential infractions that would require a play stoppage in the offensive zone include, but may not be limited to: Hand Pass (Rule 79); High-Sticking the Puck (Rule 80); and Puck Out of Bounds (Rule 85). Such infractions will only serve as a basis for overturning a GOAL call on the ice if video review can conclusively establish that a game stoppage event had occurred in the offensive zone and was missed by the On-Ice Official(s). 

Clear enough, right?   Just to make sure, let’s flip ahead to Rule 79:

A player shall be permitted to stop or “bat” a puck in the air with his open hand, or push it along the ice with his hand, and the play shall not be stopped unless, in the opinion of the on-ice officials, he has directed the puck to a teammate, or has allowed his team to gain an advantage, and subsequently possession and control of the puck is obtained by a player of the offending team, either directly or deflected off any player or official.

This was a hand pass. It should’ve been no goal.  It certainly was eligible to be challenged.

There have been 13 Coach’s Challenges for missed stoppages this season.  Four of them resulted in an overturned goal.   One was against the Flyers, who lost a goal to a missed stoppage due to a high stick against the Nashville Predators on March 17. 

Yeo later claimed the Flyers’ coaching staff “knew it was a hand pass” prior to the Hoffman goal.

“[The officials] said there’s a mistake that happened and you know obviously I think the big thing for us is we didn’t let that derail us,” Yeo said. “We’ve been trying to talk about that a lot. How you deal with adversity, whether it’s game-to-game or in the course of the game, and I thought that our guys did a good job with that tonight.”

The Flyers went on to win the game 6-3.

Referees were Brandon Schrader (#46) and Eric Furlatt (#27); linesmen were Ryan Daisy (#81) and Justin Johnson (#57).