NHL explains bizarre no-goal call in Lightning vs. Canadiens game

In the second period, the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas blasted a shot from the point towards the Montreal Canadiens crease. As fast as the puck entered, it flew back out. Was it a goal? Did it hit the post?

Referee Mike Leggo waved his hands to signal a goal wasn’t scored, and play continued. But at the next whistle, the call came down from the War Room in Toronto. The puck had, in fact, entered the net behind Carey Price.

But the goal wouldn’t count anyway. Because, apparently, the Lightning interfered with Price on a play in which a goal wasn’t scored. Or something like that. Here’s the play:

The NHL released a statement on Tuesday night explaining the no-goal decision. Brace yourselves, because this is a good one:

At 17:14 of the second period in the Lightning/Canadiens game, the Situation Room observed the puck cross the goal line but play continued until 17:50 when a review was initiated. The referee informed the Situation Room that he observed incidental contact in the crease by Lightning forward Tyler Johnson on goaltender Carey Price, if in fact the puck crossed the goal line.

Video review confirmed that the puck crossed the goal line.

According to Rule 78.5 "Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee when an attacking player has interfered with a goalkeeper in his goal crease."

This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee's decision on the ice stands, no goal Tampa Bay. The clock was reset to 17:14.

So in essence, Leggo decided it wouldn’t be a goal had it been scored, then didn’t see the goal, then conveyed to the War Room that the goal they saw shouldn’t count because of the interference he saw on the goal he didn’t see.

OK then.

It might not have even been the right call, given the contact between hulking Douglas Murray and Johnson in the crease. As the other facet of the rule goes:

If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.

Johnson is clearly attempting to leave the crease when the puck crossed the line.

Maybe, I don't know, make goalie interference reviewable? *shrugs*