The Winnipeg Jets had a third-period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights overturned after a Coach’s Challenge for a missed hand pass. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored a goal that would have cut the Golden Knights’ lead to 4-2. Vegas bench boss Bruce Cassidy challenged the goal, citing a missed stoppage for a hand pass. 

Players are not permitted to pass the puck with their hands while in the attacking zone. If they do, play will be stopped, per 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.  

During the faceoff, Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler drops to the ice, then removes his left hand from his stick. He appears to push the puck backwards with his left hand, right to winger Kyle Connor.

Thirty-seven seconds later, the Jets scored.  The faceoff was at 16:48; the goal came at 17:25 of the period.

With the puck never having left the attacking zone under Rule 38.10, the play was eligible for a challenge.  After review, the NHL’s Situation Room confirmed that there was a missed stoppage for a hand pass on the play. No goal Winnipeg. 

Winnipeg's Blake Wheeler uses his left glove to push the puck to a teammate on a faceoff

Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler uses his left glove to push the puck to a teammate on a faceoff


Had the officials caught this one in real-time, not only would the goal never have happened, but the Jets would have bene shorthanded.  Playing the puck with your hand is a clear faceoff violation, punishable by two minutes in the box

From Rule 67:

A minor penalty shall be assessed for “delay of game – face-off violation” to a player taking the face-off who attempts to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand.

While goals can we wiped out via Coach’s Challenges, the officials are not able to assess any missed penalties.  The Jets lost the goal. Wheeler, though, avoided heaiding to the box.


Cassidy and the Golden Knights went 4-for-4 (100%) on Coach’s Challenges this season.   Missed stoppages were the rarest challenge – as well as the least successful – with teams only oveturning goals 38% of the time. 


Vegas won the game 4-1, claiming their opening round series four games to one and eliminating the Winnipeg Jets from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Referees for the game were Garrett Rank (#7) and Kevin Pollock (#33) with linesmen Kiel Murchison (#79) and Libor Suchanek (#60).