Montreal Canadiens Lose Because No One Knows What Goaltender Interference Is Anymore

Mar 16, 2024; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goaltender Dustin Wolf (32) makes a save against
Mar 16, 2024; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goaltender Dustin Wolf (32) makes a save against / Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens headed west to begin a five game road trip last night. It started in Calgary and will take them through Edmonton and Vancouver before they head south of the border to take on the Seattle Kraken and Colorado Avalanche.

The road trip got off to a difficult start as the team's head coach, Martin St. Louis left Calgary to return home for family reasons. He is currently on a leave of absence from the team and there is no timetable for his return at this moment.

Once the puck dropped, the Canadiens ended up losing the opening game of the road trip by a score of 5-2. While that seems like a bit of a lopsided score, the game really turned in the Flames favour because of a couple of goaltender interference calls that did not go the Canadiens way.

It was really just a futher highlight of the fact no one knows what goaltender interference is anymore.

The first instance came when the Flames extended their lead to 3-0. Jonathan Huberdeau backed right into the blue paint and into Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau before passing the puck across the ice to Martin Pospisil who scored.

The referee immediately called it a goal, kind of yelled at Primeau who quickly pointed out he was interfered with, and that was the end of it. The Canadiens could have challenged the goal, but really, who knows what that would have resulted in. Goaltender interference challenges seem to be impossible to predict so it is almost too risky to challenge them at all. If the challenge didn't go the Canadiens way, it would have been 3-0 and they would have been shorthanded.

The Canadiens were able to close the gap to 3-2, and Juraj Slafkovsky nearly tied it when he cruised to the Flames net and received a pass from Nick Suzuki. Slafkovsky pulled the puck to the backhand and tried to jam it into the net while slamming on the brakes and stopping at the top of the crease. He was then pushed into Flames goaltender Dustin Wolf by a Flames defender.

This is goaltender interference, apparently. I mean, not according to the rule book but according to the referee in this instance. Of course the Flames scored on the ensuing power play to pull ahead 4-2 and pretty much seal the victory.

It is frustrating to see a game swing on a couple of inconsistent calls by the refs. When a Flame skates directly into the Habs goalie it is fine but when a Canadiens forward gets pushed into the Flames goalie it is not.

Makes no sense but it is all too familiar when it comes to goaltender interference calls.