Welcome back to Instant Reaction — a series at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to give theirs in the comments section below! The Stanchies by Wyatt Arndt will be posted later tonight and The Statsies — CanucksArmy’s analytics-based post game report — will be posted tomorrow morning.
The Canucks won a game tonight! The Vancouver Canucks just took down the defending Stanley Cup Champions and we’ve got some instant thoughts on this game, which turned out to be a 4-3 victory in favour of the Canucks.
This game played all the hits.
A Bo Horvat goal? You bet. A Tyler Myers double-minor penalty? Check. A power play goal from the league’s top man-advantage unit? A couple of them, in fact. Questionable refereeing? Oh yeah, you bet.
Full GIFS, reactions, and breaking down of the game are what the Stanchies are for, but let’s start by talking about the one thing it feels like almost every hockey fan is talking about tonight.
Goalie interference. What does it mean?
With his team down 2-1 in the second period, Conor Garland appeared to tie the game after tipping a Luke Schenn point shot past Pavel Francouz. The Avalanche challenged for goaltender interference, and got the answer they were hoping for as the goal was taken off the board.
Here’s the goal, for those that haven’t seen it yet.
Here’s the explanation the NHL situation room offered up as to why the goal was called back.
“Video review determined Vancouver’s Conor Garland had a significant presence in the crease and made contact with goaltender Pavel Francouz which impaired his ability to play his position prior to Garland’s goal.
The decision was made in accordance with Rule 69.1, which states in part, “Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal.””
But the call going against Garland and the Canucks wasn’t the only one that caused goalie interference to be a major topic of discussion tonight.
In the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils, there were three — yes you read that right, three — New Jersey goals taken back. This happened while the Devils were chasing a franchise-record 14th straight victory.
Here are all three of the goals that were called back from the Devils in that game:
This one was perhaps the most egregious one:
If this is goalie interference, and Garland’s was goalie interference, then there’s certainly a case to be made that Bo Horvat’s goal — which tied the game at two apiece moments after Garland’s — should also have been called back for goalie interference.
Obviously, the big caveat here is that Horvat doesn’t make any contact with Francouz in the blue paint, so obviously this one wouldn’t get called back.
The problem is, it’s not that obvious, given how this rule has been enforced. Sometimes, you see a replay with blatant goalie interference, but the call stands because the situation room determines that the player was pushed into the goaltender by an opposing player.
The rule isn’t black and white by any means, but it feels like the gray area is much too large to be enforced the way it was today. Taking three goals off the board leading to New Jersey falling 2-1 at home en route to their winning streak getting snapped at 13? That’s just not good for the game.
Anyway, back to the Canucks and our instant reaction after watching this game.
The Canucks flipped the script! They came back from being down in the third period after having already given up a lead.
Maybe all the Canucks needed all along was to lose their lead in the first period and regain it in the third?
Whatever we saw tonight was certainly much more enjoyable than what we’ve seen during most of the games the Canucks have played in this year.
Tonight’s point leaders were also very fun.
Ethan Bear scored the game-winning goal and added an assist; Sheldon Dries scored the second tying goal for the Canucks in the third and added an assist; and Oliver Ekman-Larsson tallied two assists. Those are your only three Canucks who recorded two points tonight.
Just as we all expected.
Also, don’t look now, but Spencer Martin is 5-1-1, and just picked up a win against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Now, this is just our Instant Reaction, and seeing the quality of chances he faced in the Statsies tomorrow morning will certainly help us understand Martin’s performance better, but he sure looked good tonight, we can tell you that.
Anyway, that’s our instant reaction to tonight’s game, but now we want to hear yours! Sound off in the comments section below as we wait for Wyatt to finish writing The Stanchies.