The New York Islanders have been in desperate need of a win. Little did they know, their first road win of the season would come at the ineptitude of the officiating crew on and off the ice.
After the Islanders survived a 7-1 shot advantage by the Anaheim Ducks in overtime, the two teams headed to a shootout.
Rounds 1 through 11 – yes, eleven – went as follows:
It’s in the 12th round where things get crazy.
The Ducks send out rookie defenseman Shea Theodore and he scores. It’s now up to Thomas Hickey to keep the game going for the Islanders.
Hickey scores … or does he?
Ducks goaltender Jonathan Bernier immediately protests to the official who signaled a good goal. Captain Ryan Getzlaf comes out to argue to the call and does his part to guide the referees to reviewing the goal.
You know, just like Thomas Hickey guided the puck past the goal line by pushing Bernier’s leg pad.
The officials grabbed their Nintendo DS and one put on the headset.
After a couple minutes, the referee made his determination. His announcement to the fans at Honda Center was incredib…ly awful.
“There is no goal…tender interference. It’s a good goal.”
A majority of the crowd erupted in celebration only to end in boos by the time he finished speaking.
When the officials made their explanation to Randy Carlyle, Getzlaf reacted accordingly (and hilariously).
Getzlaf’s reax to the 12th round review was awesome… pic.twitter.com/urQFI9TlPl
— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) November 23, 2016
The shootout would continue for two more rounds. Ryan Garbutt, Johnny Boychuk and Kevin Bieksa all missed. Nick Leddy didn’t. He “won” the game for the Isles.
Following the shootout, the NHL released a statement that was clear as mud:
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line.
There is no coach’s challenge in the shootout, so the Situation Room made the call to review the goal. What they did was limit the scope to goaltender interference, which is a specific challenge a coach could make IF there was one in the shootout. Hickey interferes with Bernier by pushing his pad over the goal line with the puck underneath it.
There is something else. Take a look again:
— M Remis (@mremis) November 23, 2016
Hickey stops his progress forward progress when he slams the puck into Bernier’s pad. Very subtly as he skates by his stick sweeps the puck plus Bernier’s leg into the net. That’s illegal. It’s two moves. It may not even be something the NHL looks at but should.
After the game, Bernier was contrite, “I think it was pretty obvious. I made the save, my skate was going right to the post, where I wanted it to be, and he pushed me in.”
Randy Carlyle was salty as one would expect.
“I was under the understanding you can’t score a goal by pushing the goaltender’s pad with the puck underneath it over the line,” said Carlyle. “The explanation I was given was they called it a goal on the ice, so they couldn’t determine the puck wasn’t in the net under his pad.”
Yeah, that’s not very clear either. Nothing about goaltender interference, though. Carlyle’s full post-game scrum can be seen here courtesy of the Ducks.
As for the Isles, we’ll let beat writer Arthur Staple of Newsday sum it up:
Let’s just say the verdict in #Isles room on Hickey’s shootout goal wasn’t unanimous. They’ll take it.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 23, 2016