Montreal Canadiens: Referees Finally Make a Call in Brendan Gallagher’s Favour, But it Was a Horrible Call

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 19: Brendan Gallagher Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 19: Brendan Gallagher Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens and Brendan Gallagher very rarely seem to get a close call to go their way.

It seems every time Gallagher is near the opponent’s net and the puck crosses the line the goal gets called back on review. And how many times have we seen Gallagher cross checked or interfered with or high sticked in front of the other team’s net and the refs don’t seem to catch it?

Tonight, the referees finally made a call in Brendan Gallagher’s favour, but it might have been their worst decision yet.

This is the third season that a rule has been in place in the NHL that allows coaches to challenge a goal for something other than offside and goaltender interference. Coaches are now also allowed to have plays that directly lead to a goal being scored reviewed as well. For example, if a puck hits the protecting netting behind the net and then lands in the slot and a player scores without play being blown dead, the refs can review whether the puck went out of play before the goal.

Or, if a player, for example Brendan Gallagher, makes a hand pass to a teammate who one-times it into the net, coaches are allowed to have that play reviewed.

But that is exactly what happened tonight, and the goal was allowed to stand.

After some confusion, the puck was dropped at centre ice and the goal counted for the Canadiens, even though Gallagher had clearly hand passed the puck to Mike Hoffman who scored.

Apparently, the referees told the Philadelphia Flyers bench that they were not allowed to challenge a hand pass that leads directly to a goal.

That is really an inexcusable decision by the referees. It is one thing to miss an obvious high stick because you don’t have the right angle. Or think a little stick lift was a slash and call a penalty that shouldn’t have happened. Or even to not call an interference penalty because the standard is set to allow players to get away with a little more than the rules say they should.

That’s all one thing, but telling a coach he can’t challenge a play when the rules clearly state this is the third year he should be allowed to challenge that play is preposterous. That is simply a referee, or in this case possibly four of them, that have no idea what the rules are.

A referees job is rule enforcement, and when they show they don’t know what the rules are that is a horrible look for the entire league.

Referees Erik Furlatt and Brandon Schrader as well as linesmen Ryan Daisy and Justin Johnson are going to have a lot of explaining to do after this one.

Or not, because referees have made some atrocious calls and decisions over the years and it doesn’t seem to lead to much discipline at all.

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