The Seattle Kraken lost a Coach’s Challenge for goaltender interference, then gave up a goal on the resulting powerplay from the failed review.
Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn makes contact with Kraken goaltender Phillip Grubauer not once, but twice, on the play, just prior to a goal from Max Domi to give the Stars a 3-0 lead.
Seattle Kraken forward Jared McCann was frustrated by the call.
“I have no idea what the hell goalie interference is anymore. I really don’t. I don’t think anybody does in this league,” said McCann. “We thought it was guaranteed goalie interference. Obviously he made contact with Grubi and then the puck went in. It was pretty obvious. I don’t know what else to say.”
The official ruling from the NHL’s Situation Room sheds little light on the specifics.
“Video review confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred prior to Max Domi’s goal.”
Lovely. That’s helpful.
Let’s dig into Rule 69:
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; or
(2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease. Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
There are two instances of contact on this play.
The first comes outside the goal crease, with Benn skating backwards towards the crease, moving towards the Seattle goaltender. Grubauer extends his glove hand, making contact in anticipation of a possible collision. He appears to then push off and hop to the right. This appears to be incidental contact outside the goal crease. From Rule 69.4:
If an attacking player initiates any contact with a goalkeeper, other than incidental contact, while the goalkeeper is outside his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. […] Incidental contact will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such unnecessary contact.
It doesn’t appear that Benn is looking to hit the goaltender, but to position himself at the top of the crease to set up a screen. It’s close, but we can understand the determination of incidental contact outside the crease, especially when the first touch comes from the goalie’s glove.
Grubauer has a moment to recover and get set for the shot when he’s contacted again. This time, Seattle defenseman Carson Soucy shoves Benn into his goaltender. To his credit, Benn jumps in an attempt to avoid contact – and avoid blocking the incoming shot – but his knee still appears to push Grubauer’s pad. Once more, from Rule 69:
If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
There’s no question on the contact, but since it appears to have been caused by the defenseman, it’s not sufficient to disallow the goal. Also, as before, contact occurs well outside the blue paint.
After a review by the Situation Room, the ruling was handed down to the on-ice officials: good goal, Dallas Stars.
Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol disagreed with the call.
“I felt like Grubi got blown out of the crease,” Hakstol said. “Regardless of the amount of time in between, to be able to reset was impossible. He got blown too far out of the crease on that play.”
“In my opinion there’s really something wrong there, and that’s how I evaluate it. I don’t look for something that’s close, or splitting hairs on it. [Grubauer] did not have a chance to do his job on that play, and, if I look at it, he never really got reset.”
Dallas head coach Pete DeBoer, on the winning side of both the challenge and the game, had a different take.
“It looked to me like there was a little bit of a bump. I thought he reset, ” said DeBoer. “[From] my perspective, there was a second bump, but he got pushed in on the second one, and it was outside the paint. So I thought it was the right call.”
The Kraken were assessed a minor penalty for delay of game on the failed Coach’s Challenge. Dallas capitalized, with Joe Pavelski scoring to put the Stars up 4-0 just 85 seconds later.
This is Seattle’s third failed challenge this season; all have come on Goaltender Interference situations. Head coach Dave Hakstol went a perfect 5-for-5 on offside challenges – including two against the Avs in the playoffs – but just 1-for-4 on interference reviews this season. Seattle, with 3, has issued the most Coach’s Challenge of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Dallas Stars went on to win the game 6-3 to tie up their Division Semifinal best-of-seven series against the Seattle Kraken at 2-2. Referees were Kelly Sutherland (#11) and Trevor Hanson (#14) with linesmen David Brisebois (#96) and Bevan Mills (#53).