Longtime Washington Capitals center Lars Eller was traded to the Colorado Avalanche at this year’s deadline. The move put an end to a seven-year stint within the Caps organization where Eller scored 87 times.
Eller has since played in nine games for the Avs and found the back of the net for the first time in a Colorado sweater on Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators. The goal happened on an absolutely bizarre play featuring quite the non-call from the officiating staff.
With just two minutes remaining in the second period, Avs defenseman Samuel Girard rimmed the puck around his own defensive end and all the way down the ice with more than enough force for an icing call. For some reason, icing got waved off despite no Ottawa players being in the vicinity of the puck the entire time it slid into their zone.
The loose biscuit caromed off the backboards and Senators goaltender Mads Sogaard pinned it against his pad with his blocker. For reasons only known to the official behind the net, a whistle was never given for the puck being frozen. Sogaard, either conditioned to getting whistles when he freezes pucks or confused about the non-call on the icing, got up and left the loose puck in the crease.
Eller stuck with the play and jammed home his first marker with Colorado.
“That’s one of the most bizarre plays I’ve ever seen in a hockey game if that goal stands,” Avalanche color commentator Mark Rycroft said after watching a replay.
The goal did stand and put Colorado up 5-2 in the game.
In response, the Ottawa crowd and head coach DJ Smith celebrated Colorado getting called for icing early in the third period.
The crowd gives a big cheer after an icing call. Even D. J. Smith got involved! #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/RQoWF4h1Pu
— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) March 17, 2023
At the end of the day, goalies should already be very aware that Eller loves to pounce on loose pucks anywhere near the goal crease.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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