Confusion. Disbelief. Anger.
Just some of the emotions felt by Edmonton Oilers fans after Friday night’s 4-3 double overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The Oilers were up 3-0 but allowed three goals in the last 3:16.
Much of the anger stems from the Ducks tying goal with 15 seconds left. The goal stood up after the league initiated video review for goalie interference. The NHL said Ryan Kesler was pushed into the crease by Darnell Nurse, so he couldn’t have avoided contacting Cam Talbot. However, this ruling ignored the fact that Kesler grabbed and pulled on the inside of Talbot’s right pad, allowing the puck to trickle though his five-hole.
“There are ways to refine the criteria for what is interference. The GMs talk about that,” said Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli Saturday morning before the team left Anaheim. “There are ways to have that discussion when the ref has the headset on. In the playoffs, we’re incorporating the series supervisor, the ref, and hockey ops. There are ways to define what the vote is in that discussion. There are ways to make it better, and we’ll look at all those ways.”
The refs on the ice make the final call in those situations. Given how quickly they made a decision, it’s unlikely they even considered Kesler’s unusual form of interference.
“It’s just refining the interpretation. It’s a tough framework to establish,” added Chiarelli. “We have constructive dialogue amongst the GMs and with the NHL, and we’ll figure it out. I like the rule. I like the video review. It was hard to take last night, though.”
Head coach Todd McLellan deflected any further comment on the controversial goal.
When asked about captain Connor McDavid saying that the Oilers will be back in Anaheim for game seven on Wednesday, McLellan said, “When your leader says that, now we gotta go out and do it.”
Game six is Sunday at Rogers Place with the Oilers needing a win to stay alive. Catch the game on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 3pm. The game starts at 5pm. (jrw)