Ivan Provorov scored a controversial goal against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. A prolonged scramble in front of Charlie Lindgren led to Provorov sweeping in a loose puck, bringing the Columbus Blue Jackets within one goal of the Caps. But, Capitals coach Spencer Carbery insisted, Columbus forward Mathieu Olivier impeded Lindgren from making the save. Carbery’s challenge forced the officials to review the play for goalie interference.
The officials upheld the goal, ruling against the Capitals, as they have done a league-leading seven times this season.
There have been 46 coach’s challenges this season, not counting ones initiated by the league. Teams only ask for a review if they’re very confident officials will see it their way, thus challenges succeed 72 percent of the time. But that success heavily depends on the nature of the challenge. So far this season (and in general historically), offside challenges are the most successful.
|Challenge type||Successes||Total||Success rate|
Washington has made one challenge for interference and one for offside, failing both. Opponents have challenged two Washington goals based on interference and three based on offside, succeeding in all five.
This is extraordinary. Washington and Chicago are the only teams to have lost two challenges. (Chicago has challenged two more times than Washington.) Anaheim, Buffalo, Carolina, Tampa, and Vegas are also batting .000 on a single challenge each. But where Washington is really losing ground is their own goals getting canceled. Washington’s goals have been overturned a league-high five times. Montreal comes in a close second, with four goals lost to challenges.
Consequently, Washington has effectively lost seven goals (five for, two against) to challenges, four more than the next team.
None of this is to say Washington deserved seven more goals than they’ve received.
Not all challenges are created equal, and it’s plausible that the officials got every one of those calls right. We don’t need to relitigate all of them.
But it’s Sunday, so I’m gonna.
This was the right call. Ovechkin positively bulldozed Toronto goalie Joseph Woll. That might have been Backstrom’s final goal ever, so I’m sentimental over it, but I don’t think the Caps got treated unfairly here.
Peter’s ruling: good call.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (I think, it’s unclear in the clip) was across the blue line before the puck, though this all happened approximately 45 minutes before the goal happened. There were two and a half changes in possession between the entry and the goal. The call was right, but I disagree on philosophical grounds, probably.
Peter’s ruling: good call, but I’m gonna put the whole SYSTEM on trial.
Alex Ovechkin was way ahead of the play before his goal 14 seconds later. I can’t fault this one.
Peter’s ruling: good call.
Oshie showed amazing finesse both on the pass and on the deflection, but he was a bit too cozy with Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov. It was just a nudge, but it was more than the officials could allow. I’d be fine with this ruling if the standard were applied uniformly; Olivier’s presence behind Lindgren on Saturday night was more substantial than Oshie’s here.
Peter’s ruling: specious, arbitrary, churlish, insubordinate.
This play is such a mess; I don’t know where to begin. Milano lost another goal — not because Wilson swept the leg like Johnny against Daniel-san, but because Wilson was a Mandelbrot set fractal distance over the blue line on the zone entry. I wonder if the officials might have fudged the call because the penalty they missed should have wiped out the goal.
Peter’s ruling: motion to declare a writ of boys will be boys
Pals: The Caps are winning. They’re the hottest team in the league not being coached by the former coach of that same team. We can complain all we want. And we should. And we will. Because that’s who we are: sportsfans. We are entitled and petty, and we will claim persecution even if our preferred team is winning. It’s fun and harmless to kvetch a bit, so join me, won’t you? The calls are surely going to go in the Caps’ favor soon, and this could be our last chance.
Headline photo: Katie Adler/RMNB
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