Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Goal Tender Interference In the NHL

Goaltender interference. How many times have we seen this penalty called incorrectly? The answer is simply just too many. For those unaware, goaltender interference is a penalty called when a player collides with the opposing team’s goalie, under his own force. If a goal is scored while a player interferes with the other team’s goalie, the goal is automatically called off and a two-minute minor is assessed. This call is not reviewable. 

No matter how absurd the call is, if a player scores and goaltender interference is called, the goal will not stand. The NHL needs to fix this issue and the solution is quite simple; review everything. It sounds ludicrous for the NHL to review every single scoring play, but they need to do whatever it takes to get the call correct.  Take a look at this video from a game on February 3rd, 2013, between the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens.



How on earth is Jakob Silfverberg called for that penalty? The Senators went on to lose that game by a score of 2-1; it was the equalizing goal which was taken right from their hands. This just goes to show how much of an affect the referees have on any game of hockey. I realize that human error is part of hockey, as it is for every other sport, but when you have the proper technology to correct over a horrid call, why wouldn’t you want to take full advantage of it?

This goes right back to my theory of how the NHL needs to begin reviewing every time the puck crosses the goal line, even if it is no where near being a good goal, take the extra five to ten minutes to make the call fair. I’m sure most hockey fans would be willing to sit for some additional time if it resulted in the call being amended. Look at the NFL; in 2011, they began reviewing every scoring play and now the only way human error can affect the game is through penalties. This isn’t perfect on behalf of the NFL, but it at least proves that they want to get the game as correctly called as possible. I cannot say the same for the NHL, as reviewed goals have been a problem around the league for years now.

After the direction this year’s playoffs have taken, officiating wise, I am left to hope that changes will be made regarding the issue of goal tender interference. For now, we are dismally stuck with guessing referees.

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Tags: Goaltender Interference National Hockey League NHL

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