Oilers GM talks goalie interference reviews: ‘It’s a tough framework to establish’


The Edmonton Oilers dropped Game 5 of their second-round playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night thanks in large part to an historic late-game collapse that saw them give up three goals in the final four minutes of regulation.

The third goal came with a bit of controversy after it was upheld following a review for goaltender interference.

That ruling left several members of the Oilers (specifically Milan Lucic) feeling a little confused on what interference actually is, especially since it is the second time in this series they had a goalie interference review go against them.

On Saturday, general manager Peter Chiarelli had a chance to speak to the media and discussed the rule and review process. He admitted that there is some frustration building.

Not because the calls were necessarily wrong, but because they seem to keep going against his team.

“There is a frustration level building,” said Chiarelli. “But it’s not really not because of anything the NHL hockey ops does. It is not because of the process. It is because the calls have gone against us. I know the process these guys go through and I have discussions after the fact with NHL hockey ops. And we as GMs have voted this stuff in, and there is a group that reviews these things, and they came through with a ruling, and unfortunately the last two have gone against us.”

Chiarelli was asked if he has a clear idea of what goaltender interference looks like at this point.

“We have a general framework,” said Chiarelli. “We’ve got incidental contact in the white. Incidental contact in the blue. We’ve got guys being pushed in. We’ve kind of set out that criteria, the GMs have. They tweak it a little, but it’s to our knowledge when they do it and they talk to us. We have our own way of interpreting it too. Like if they can tweak it a little, in our minds we can tweak it a little bit. We look at last night, I see two points of interference. One was caused by our own player pushing a player in. The other was caused by their player in my mind. So it was a difference of opinions.”

The replay system for goaltender interference has faced some criticism due to the apparent subjectivity that seems to exist, and Chiarelli was asked if the process has produced some unintended consequences.

Chiarelli does not see it that way.

“I don’t really put unintended consequences on this process,” said Chiarelli. “It’s just refining the interpretation. It’s tough. It’s a tough framework to establish. There is so many nuances. The other night [Game 4] it’s about was there contact in the white or contact in the blue. For me there was both. But we have constructive dialogue among the GM’s and the NHL and we’ll figure it out. I like the rule. I like the video review. But it was hard to take last night though.”

You can see Chiarelli’s entire media availability by clicking here.

After winning the first two games of the series in Anaheim the Oilers have now dropped three games in a row and are facing elimination on Sunday when the series returns to Edmonton.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

caufield surgery
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

matty beniers
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.