In the second period of Game 1 of the playoff matchup between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday, Charlie Coyle scored a controversial goal for the Bruins after Nick Ritchie hit the puck out of the air with his glove.
The Hurricanes challenged the goal, calling it a hand pass. But officials ruled that because Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek made a play on the puck and had a glove on it before it was knocked free to Coyle, the hand pass was negated.
It may have cost the Hurricanes, who lost 4-3 in double overtime, and head coach Rod Brind'Amour was furious with the decision after the game.
"This is why the league's a joke, in my opinion, on these things," he said, per Luke DeCock of The News & Observer. "That one is a crime scene."
He was promptly fined $25,000 by the NHL:
Brind'Amour further elaborated on his frustration, noting that officials didn't clarify the call on the ice before his challenge, leaving him to guess whether he should challenge a hand pass or goalie interference:
"They came to me, and I said, 'If he has possession of it then it's goalie interference. If he doesn't have possession then it's a hand pass. It's one of the two. I don't know what you're calling on the ice.' All he has to do is tell me, 'We're calling it non-possession [by Mrazek].' Then we're challenging a glove-hand pass. If it's possession, then goaltender interference. I said, 'Tell me the call on the ice.' They wouldn't do it when I say, 'What is the call?' So I had to flip a coin. ...
"I said, 'What was the call on the ice?' and he said, 'You've got to call one or the other.' It should be so easy. If they said the goalie had it, then it's an easy call. They wouldn't tell you. It makes no sense. I know we weren't the better team, but if that goal doesn't go in, do we win that game? I don't know."
It wasn't surprising the NHL didn't take kindly to its officiating being called a joke, though Brind'Amour made a fair point about it being strange that the officials didn't tell him the call on the ice before he made his challenge. Not only that, but Carolina was then charged with a delay of game penalty, giving the Bruins a goal and a power play.
Granted, Brock McGinn scored a short-handed goal 15 seconds into the penalty kill, tying the game back up 2-2.
But it was a bizarre sequence of events, and one that justifiably left Brind'Amour seething.