The NHL playoffs see a lively debate over goaltender interference reignited following a controversial incident in the first round

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Sergei Bobrovsky in action

After his team lost the NHL playoffs and saw two goals disallowed due to goaltender interference, Jon Cooper said those calls didn’t solely cause the Tampa Bay Lightning’s defeat. However, he disagreed with them.

Cooper, a coach who has won the Stanley Cup twice, noted that the league keeps changing rules to encourage more scoring.

During the game, when Tampa Bay scored a goal, Florida coach Paul Maurice challenged it successfully, citing goalie interference. Later, another Lightning goal was nullified for the same reason, despite Cooper’s challenge, which was unsuccessful.

Even though his team lost 6-1, Cooper believed there wasn’t enough proof for either call. This controversy marked the most significant debate of the postseason yet.

Some other coaches, including prominent ones, shared Cooper’s view. Many coaches remaining in the playoffs recognize the delicate nature of goalie interference calls, as these decisions or challenges can drastically impact a game or series during this crucial time of the year.

“It’s an area they need to improve,” said Rod Brind’Amour from Carolina, who agreed with Cooper about goalies being overly protected from minor contact.

Pavel Zacha in the second period of the game

“We want to see goals, especially those tough ones around the net. If you bump into a goalie, that’s goalie interference. But there should be more focus on common sense.”

On the flip side, after his team benefited from three goalie interference challenges, Maurice from Florida felt he could discuss the topic more calmly than Cooper. As a seasoned coach who led Florida to the Stanley Cup Final last year, he felt confident enough to challenge but wasn’t certain about the league’s decision.

However, he believes goalie interference is clearer now than it was a few years ago because the approach has shifted from zero tolerance to more leniency and now lies somewhere in the middle.

“They’ve tried to make it more specific,” Maurice said. “If the goalie can’t make the save because of interference, it’s goalie interference. So, my approach is truly about the ‘spirit of the rule.’ I try not to consider all the technical criteria. Is the opponent in his crease, preventing him from making a save he could have made?


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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