After that, the focus was instead on whether the Colorado made an illegal streak change that led directly to Kadri’s goal, which gave Avalanche a 3-2 win on the road and put them in a tight position in control of a best-of-seven streak.
Avalanche now holds the 3-1 lead, with Game 5 set on Friday night in Colorado.
“This is going to hurt a lot more than the others, just because he was taking… it was probably… I don’t know… it’s hard for me,” Cooper said in a brief post-match press conference on Wednesday night. “It will be difficult for me to speak… You will see what I mean when you see the winning goal. My heart breaks for the players because maybe we still have to play.”
While Cooper didn’t explicitly mention too many men on icy offenses during his press conference, in which he only took one question before excusing himself, a closer look at the play shows why two-time Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay was upset.
Close viewing of the broadcast showed that the avalanche had six snowboarders before Qadri scored a goal. When Kadri made his move into the net to beat Vasilevskiy, Colorado star Nathan McKinnon was still on his feet on the ice as he tried to jump off the bench to complete the change. NHL rules state that skaters must be within five feet of their seats and out of the next play before a shift change is made.
On Thursday, Cooper made it clear that he believed the officials made a mistake in calling on the ice, but wanted to move on and look forward to the rest of the series.
“I got some excitement for Game 5 and that’s where my mind now turns to how to win that,” Cooper said. “no [anything] We can do to return. I missed them. It’s unfortunate, but it’s water under the bridge now. Let’s get ready. Hell game should be 5.”
Penalties imposed by too many men, even when a goal is scored, are not subject to review.
“Too many men on ice is a decision that can be made by any of the four officials on the ice,” NHL Hockey Operations said in a late-night statement. “After the match, the Hockey Operations Department met with the four officials as is their usual protocol. When discussing the winning goal, each of the four officials advised that they did not see too many men on the ice in the play.”
The controversy only continued after the match, when Handing over the official results sheet to the media Six ice skaters scored for Qadri’s goal. The NHL later told reporters that it was a mistake, and that Colorado defender Eric Johnson, was mistakenly listed.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Wednesday night that he thought the goal was good, no matter what combo Tampa Bay tried to push. He said, “I did not hear any confusion.”
Kadri, who was playing the series’ first game after undergoing thumb surgery earlier in the month, said he was also not sure why Cooper questioned the legitimacy of his goal.
“I’m not entirely sure what he really was, and what he was thinking why he shouldn’t count. That kind of baffled me a bit,” Kadri said on Wednesday. “The ball hit the back of the net, end of the story, so I’m not sure why he said that.” .”
Tampa Bay defender Ryan McDonagh didn’t have much to say about the call Thursday, noting that as a player, “You’re looking for every inch to get an edge and try to jump into play.”
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