Should Nazem Kadri’s down winning objective for the Avalanche in additional time to dominate Match 4 of the Stanley Cup Final even have counted?
With eight minutes left in the principal extra time of the game, Kadri took a pass from Artturi Lehkonen through the Lightning guard and put the puck behind goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. After some short disarray, the shot was governed an objective, giving Colorado a 3-1 lead in the series as it moves back to home ice for Game 5.
However, after the game, numerous internet based brought up that the objective might not have been lawful. The Avalanche were in a change when Kadri made the triumphant effort, and screengrabs from the scene showed Nathan MacKinnon might not have gotten off in time – and there were maybe such a large number of men on the ice.
It was not lost on those involved, particularly Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who was “nearly in tears” during the postgame press conference, according to The Athletic. Cooper only took one question and said he would be available tomorrow.
“You’re going to see what I mean when you see the winning goal,”
“My heart breaks for the players, because we probably still should be playing.”
In the moment, Cooper did not clarify why the goal should not have counted, but chatter quickly spread about the possible extra man on the ice.
Even the official score sheet given to the media at the game noted there were six Colorado skaters on the ice when the goal was scored (including the goalie). NHL curiously then edited the sheet to lower that number to five, according to ESPN.com.
“A too many men on the ice penalty is a judgment call that can be made by any of the four on-ice officials,”
NHL Hockey Operations said in a statement.
“Following the game, Hockey Operations met with the four officials as is their normal protocol. In discussing the winning goal, each of the four officials advised that they did not see a too many men on the ice situation on the play.”