Analyzing all three illegal targets

Maybe this is just a therapy session for you after seeing THREE goals return to Toronto for review and although the call on the ice was a good goal it’s undone and the New Jersey Devils have seen how a goal has been taken off the board . Every time the Devils had an either-or, it went the way of the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s fine when it comes to legitimate calls, but these all had some very serious gray areas.

At the third unrecognized goal, some of the crowd got so angry that they threw things on the ice. We obviously do not tolerate that and have addressed it here. However, the game was razor-thin and the Devils were the better team after the first third. Losing a 13-game winning streak with three disallowed goals and a monster goalkeeping performance from Matt Murray really hurts.

So let’s take a closer look at these three prohibited targets to see what they were called and what the rule is. We could learn where the umpires come from and maybe we were wrong about all three. Or maybe someone just got it wrong.

New Jersey Devil

Detail view of a can on the ice (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

First goal: Jonas Siegenthaler’s goal was checked for goalkeeper interference

That goal call seemed soft back then, and the more we watch the replay, the worse it seems to be getting. On the surface it seems you can see why the gate was knocked over. Jonas Siegenthaler shot the puck past Murray with Nathan Bastian near the crease. Bastian, at one point he made contact with Murray’s skate, but the rule is pretty clear. Before we get into that, let’s look at the piece.

There are a couple of points here: Bastian hit Murray but it seems to happen before the shot goes off and Murray is able to go into full overtime in his attempt to save. Murray had only a delayed reaction. Do the referees determine that Bastian was the reason for this delayed reaction? The problem is that this is not part of the rule. According to the NHL rulebook, the interference has to do with the goaltender’s movement during the shot or approaching the shot.

Rule 69.1 The main reason for this rule is that a goalkeeper should be able to move freely within his goal area without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the goal area and his actions interfere with the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal and a goal is scored, the goal will not be awarded.

Can one argue that Bastian’s tiny skate touch had something to do with it? It seems like this is an incredibly weak call at best and a bull’s eye at worst. Add to that the fact that Mitch Marner’s racquet was down at the time of contact, making it harder for Bastian to avoid contact. Does this affect this part of the rule?

If an attacking player is pushed, pushed or fouled by a defending player into contact with the goaltender, such contact is not considered attacking player-initiated contact for purposes of this Rule, provided the attacking player is the attacking player appropriate has made efforts to avoid such contact.

Marner didn’t push or push Bastian. A foul is a more difficult distinction, but since Bastian didn’t physically stumble, Marner will always decide in case of doubt.

At the end of the day, it’s surprising that the league would want to rescind such targets. Bastian didn’t do much to influence the game. It was a wicked shot from Siegenthaler and a late reaction from Murray that resulted in the goal. Murray was able to make the game and he went into full overtime. We would want that goal to count.