Toronto and Ottawa renewed pleasantries in the Battle of Ontario on Saturday night.
Down by a goal, the Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri skated behind the net to challenge Senators defenseman Cody Ceci for the puck.
As Kadri nears Ceci, the defenseman turns his body so his numbers are parallel to the end-boards. Kadri then checks Ceci where Ceci’s head and neck are bent awkwardly as they strike the boards and ice. With Ceci out of the play, Kadri obtains possession of the puck and passes it to Joffrey Lupul who scores.
There was no boarding call on the play, which would have negated the goal. Ceci was not injured and participated in the rest of the game.
A couple things to think about.
First, despite the non-call and no injury to Ceci, will Kadri be subject to supplemental discipline? If so, Kadri is considered a repeat offender.
Second, does this give more ammunition to the argument for a coach’s challenge? Consider this: the goal scored off the hit tied the game, woke up the home crowd and swung the momentum in Toronto’s favor.
The NFL’s challenge system is the model most coach’s challenge advocates want to adopt and adapt to the NHL. Currently, like the NHL and goals, all touchdowns are reviewed but not for infractions; nor can coaches challenge a blown call. What could have been challengeable here that would have lead to an overturning of the goal?
Toronto went on to win 6-3.