New Jersey Devils: Analyzing All Three Disallowed Goals

Nathan Bastian #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Nathan Bastian #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Maybe this is just a therapy session for yours truly after watching THREE goals go back to Toronto for review, and despite the call on the ice being a good goal, it gets reversed, and the New Jersey Devils saw a goal get taken off the board. Every time the Devils had an either or call, it went the way of the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s fine if these are legitimate calls, but these all had some very serious gray areas.

On the third disallowed goal, a few in the crowd got so angry that they threw things on the ice. We obviously don’t condone that, and we went into it here. However, the game was razor-thin, and the Devils were the better team after the first period. To lose a 13-game winning streak on three disallowed goals and a monster goaltending performance by Matt Murray really hurts.

So, let’s look deep into those three disallowed goals to see what was called and what the rule is. We might learn where the referees are coming from, and maybe we were wrong on all three. Or maybe, someone just got it wrong.

New Jersey Devils
A detailed view of a can on the ice (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

First Goal: Jonas Siegenthaler’s goal reviewed for goaltender interference

This goal call seemed soft at the time, and the more we look at the replay, it seems to get worse. On the surface, it seems like one could see why the goal got overturned. Jonas Siegenthaler shot the puck past Murray with Nathan Bastian near the crease. Bastian, at one point, DID make contact with Murray’s skate, but the rule is pretty clear. Before we get into that, let’s look at the play.

There are a few points here: Bastian did hit Murray, but it appears to happen before the shot goes off, and Murray is able to get full extension on his save attempt. Murray just had a delayed reaction. Are the referees determining that Bastian was the reason for that delayed reaction? The problem is that isn’t part of the rule. According to the NHL rule book, the interference has to do with the goaltenders movement during the shot or getting to the shot.

"Rule 69.1 The overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

Can one argue that Bastian’s tiny skate touch had anything to do with that? It seems like this is an incredibly weak call at best, and a flat out miss at worse. Also, there’s the fact Mitch Marner’s stick was down at the time of the contact, making it harder for Bastian to avoid the contact. Does that impact this part of the rule?

"If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact."

Marner didn’t push or shove Bastian. Fouled is a harder distinction, but since Bastian didn’t physically trip, Marner will always get the benefit of the doubt here.

At the end of the day, it’s surprising the league wants goals like this overturned. Bastian didn’t do much to impact the play. It was a wicked shot by Siegenthaler and a delayed reaction by Murray that led to the goal. Murray was in the position to make the play, and he made the full extension. We would want that goal to count.