The Calgary Flames lost to the Vegas Golden Knights by a 2-1 score on Wednesday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
Special teams tilt the game
In a game where three goals counted, each team scored once at even strength and then a power play goal tilted things for Vegas.
Via Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, Flames head coach Bill Peters wasn’t thrilled with the officiating in this game.
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) March 7, 2019
For what it’s worth: Vegas had four power plays (two in the first, one in the second and one in the third) and generated seven shots, while the Flames had three power plays (all in the second) and generated three shots. As much as you may sympathize with Peters on the calls, the Flames didn’t do nearly as much with their special teams opportunities as Vegas did.
The disallowed goal
It’s inevitable that there’s going to be a lot of hand-wringing about the disallowed Flames goal in the first period, especially given how tight the game was. The Flames obviously weren’t thrilled with the call.
Here’s the goal again:
— Sportsnet 960 (@Sportsnet960) March 7, 2019
The officials ruled that Tkachuk’s contact at the top of the crease with the goalie stick caused Fleury to spin around – and do a barrel roll – and not be able to save Gaudreau shot. Yes, Tkachuk had position outside the crease, but the way the rule has been written and interpreted this season is that Fleury has the right to move freely within his crease without being impeded while trying to play his position.
Per the NHL Rulebook:
The overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player.
While the rules don’t explicitly specify Fleury and Tkachuk getting tangled up, Tkachuk’s presence outside the crease hindered Fleury’s ability to move freely and play the position. But it’s very much a grey area not specified within the rules, so it’s incredibly tough to properly interpret in this situation because (to be blunt) there’s nothing about this specific situation in the rules.