New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere spent two minutes in the penalty box, serving time for a crime he didn’t commit.

Colorado’s Cale Makar was clipped by a high stick. Referees Eric Furlatt and Brian Pochmara whistled Lafreniere for the infraction.  After the Blueshirts’ forward was locked up, the two officials headed over to review the play.

A second look clearly showed that it was the stick of Avs blueliner Devon Toews that caught Makar up high.


On-ice officials do have the option to review a double-minor for high-sticking, but only when that’s the call on the ice. Pochmara and Furlatt issued two-minute minor penalty for high-sticking.  That’s not eligible for review.

From Rule 60.3:

Referees making [the call of a double-minor for high-sticking] shall have the option (but not the obligation) to review video of the play for the purpose of confirming (or not) their original call on the ice, and, in particular, whether the stick causing the apparent injury was actually the stick of the Player being penalized.

Such reviews will be conducted exclusively by the Referee(s) on the ice in consultation with other On-Ice Officials, as appropriate, using the technology (for example, a handheld tablet or television or computer monitor) provided for the Official(s) at ice level. On any such review, the only contact between the On-Ice Official(s) and the NHL Situation Room shall be for the sole purpose of ensuring the Referee is receiving any and all video he may request and that he has access to all the appropriate replay angles he may need to review the penalty call. There shall be no other consultation between the Referee and the NHL Situation Room, or with any other non-game participant.

It can be reviewed, but only if it causes injury.  The ruling, as noted above, is made by the on-ice officials – not the Situation Room, who handle Coach’s Challenges.

The officials took five minutes to review a play that was ineligible for review, only to have to break the news to New York head coach Gerard Gallant.  The penalty would stand. The review – which never should’ve happened – showed the officials that it was friendly fire.

There was nothing they could do about it.

New York was able to kill off the minor penalty to Lafreniere.