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Goalie Interference is a Mess, and it Cost the Bruins Two Important Points

Egregious, horrific, contradictory, embarrassing… Are there any more words to describe the deciding goal call of the potential game of the year thus far between the Bruins and the Leafs? To paraphrase the great Jack Edwards, “The goaltender interference call has turned into the catch rule of the NFL.” Just like no one knows what a catch is or is not in the NFL, the NHL has its own problem of what goaltender interference really is.


The NHL states the rule of goaltender under rule 69.1. The rule relays that a goal should be disallowed by virtue of either of the two things listed below:

  1. If an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalie’s ability to move freely in his crease or defend his goal.
  2. If an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalie, inside or outside his goal crease.



After reviewing both of these rules, there is no debate to whether Ron Hainsey’s goal should have been disallowed. By RULE the goal should not have stood. In the process leading up to Hainsey’s shot, the attacking player, Zach Hyman, “impairs the goalie’s (Rasks) ability to move freely in his crease and defend his goal” due to the “contact” Hyman has with Rask by shoving Charlie McAvoy into the Bruins goaltender.


The problem with this goal call has nothing to do with whether you, me, Ron Hainsey, or Tuukka Rask believe this to be a goal or not… it has to do entirely with the rule of what goaltender interference is. The refs got the call wrong in game speed… had a chance to correct their call… and screwed it up a second time… essentially contradicting the rule they put into effect.


From here, a fan can only wonder whether the NHL will have the integrity to uphold and distinguish the rules that they have put into place… for if they don’t the NHL runs the risk of going down the same fox hole of leagues like the NFL indecisive on the world’s biggest stages.


About a month ago after back to back nights in which goals were disallowed because of the slightest infractions with goaltenders, the NHL sent a memo to referees. Now, seemingly nothing is called back. At this point of the season, every single point is crucial, and the NHL needs to fix their problem. The lack of consistency, and flat out wrong calls could cost teams playoff spots, and even the players, such as Charlie McAvoy, have stated that they don’t know what goaltender inference is.


It’s a serious problem. The NHL needs to figure it out, and Ron Hainsey’s allowed goal is example A of why.


So Rick Nash…

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