Last night, Alain Vigneault was displeased that Carolina’s game-tying goal in an eventual 4-3 loss was allowed to stand after his coach’s challenge.
“Ask the league,” he fumed in his postgame availability. “They’re going to spin it anyway so they look alright and that’s the way it always is.”
Today, the NHL responded. From the New York Post:
A league spokesman responded to The Post by email on Friday morning, saying it was incidental contact outside of the crease.
The explanation, which was asked to be paraphrased, went on to say that [‘Canes forward Elias] Lindholm was not in the crease, he was moving laterally, and did not extend any body part or clip [Rangers goalie Antti] Raanta as he was going by.
Vigneault was adamant the “wrong call” was made on the play, noting that Lindholm lifted Raanta’s mask prior to Sebastian Aho‘s point shot going in.
Today’s statement comes after the league initially explained its decision via the Situation Room blog:
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.
Regardless of whatever explanation he received, Vigneault’s sure the goal shouldn’t have counted.
“Of all the times I’ve asked for a coach’s challenge,” he said, “this one I’m sure I’m 100 percent right.”