GLENDALE, Ariz. — While NFL fans, players and analysts work toward deciphering what a catch is, hockey fans continue to ponder what is and is not goaltender interference. Following Arizona’s 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night at Gila River Arena, Coyotes fans are more than willing participants in that think tank.
Nick Shore goal pic.twitter.com/6ank8bBvBR
— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 24, 2016
A little more than six minutes into the second period, Coyotes goaltender Louis Domingue left his net to play the puck following a Los Angeles dump-in. He stickhandled the puck from the side of his net to directly behind it, carefully keeping the puck in the playable trapezoid. He found Coyotes center Boyd Gordon in front of the vacant net.
This was the first mistake on the play. Instead of shooting the puck around the boards or finding a defenseman for an outlet pass, Domingue put the puck in a dangerous spot.
“I said to Louis to keep the puck out of the middle because he tried to go right up the middle with that one,” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said.
A forechecking Tanner Pearson made contact with Domingue as the goalie attempted to make his way back to the crease. The bump from behind propelled Domingue into Gordon and both men hit the ice and the puck squirted out to the boards to the left of Arizona’s net. A failed break-out pass by Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson landed directly on the stick of Kings center Nick Shore who swatted the puck into the open net.
“Louis gets the puck. He gets bumped. We get it back, we have it on our stick and we give it away again,” Tippett said. “Meanwhile, Louis is standing up checking his mask.”
Domingue never made an effort to return to his crease, instead taking his mask off in an effort to stop the play. Despite Domingue pleading his case to referee Evgeny Romasko, Shore was credited with his third goal of the season, tying the game 1-1. Although Tippett had multiple conversations with the officials, the play was not challenged.
“In hindsight we should have challenged it,” Tippett said. “The thing that was at issue is it should have been a penalty, should have been an interference call. (It) wasn’t called.
“But the timeline between when Louis fell down and got on his knees and decided to take his mask off was probably time for him to get back in the net. So there would have been a real conundrum there. So luckily it didn’t come back to bite us.”
On Shore's goal, goalie coach Jon Elkin said AZ might have had chance @ goalie interference call if Domingue kept mask on, hustled into net.
— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) January 24, 2016
“I obviously couldn’t go back to my crease once the guy hit me and then my mask was off,” Domingue said. “My strapping was up so I couldn’t see either, so I just took my mask off.
“Honestly, I never thought they’d give the goal (to Los Angeles). I didn’t think it was a penalty, but definitely not a goal.”
On top of issues with his goalie mask, the 23-year-old felt he could not return to his net without getting a penalty.
“I never dive on any play, so (Pearson) definitely took me down,” Domingue said. “The referee said that he was entitled to that part of the ice. Honestly, I didn’t know how I could have gotten back to my net other than hitting him and if I hit him they’d call for interference.”
Domingue finished with 26 saves for his eighth win of the season and Arizona ended its four-game losing streak.