The Calgary Flames defeated the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night at the Saddledome, rallying back after a 2-0 first period deficit. The Flames’ rally was delayed somewhat by a disallowed goal 4:39 into the second period.
Following the game, Flames head coach Darryl Sutter conceded that he didn’t have an issue with the challenge overturning the goal, but he disagreed with how long it took for Vegas to challenge the goal.
“It’s probably the right call after,” said Sutter. “The only problem I have is why does it take so long? You’re supposed to call it, or drop the puck. One of the two. My job when challenges, call it. And their job is when they don’t call it, drop the puck. You don’t have to take a minute and a half… We get the word that they’re probably going to challenge it, it takes another minute for it to be challenged, the puck should be dropped. It stalls the game.”
On the play, Nazem Kadri was sprawled in the Vegas crease after losing his balance while battling for net-front position. He was between Vegas netminder Logan Thompson and the wide-open net, which paved the way for Elias Lindholm to score.
Rule 69.1, which governs goaltender inference in the context of coach’s challenges, defines the standard like this:
“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.”
Based on Kadri’s positioning inside the crease, the first standard for disallowing the goal was likely met.
A later paragraph within that rule states:
“The overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.”
The Flames scored three unanswered goals following the disallowed goal to beat Vegas 3-2. The first of them, credited to Lindholm, was also reviewed, that time to determine whether it was knocked into the Vegas net by a Calgary high stick.