TAMPA, Fla. — Avalanche coach Jared Bednar twice on Thursday morning dismissed Tampa Bay’s complaint that the winning overtime goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Wednesday night should not have counted.
“I thought it was nothing, honestly,” Bednar said before the team boarded its charter flight back to Denver. “That happens every second shift the entire game.”
Lightning coach Jon Cooper, in his brief postgame news conference late Wednesday, said “my heart breaks for the players because we probably still should be playing.” He walked out without explaining what he meant, but it is believed that he thought the officials missed an Avalanche too-many-men penalty before Nazem Kadri’s overtime goal gave Colorado a 3-2 victory and 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
Videos and still pictures show Kadri made a shift change with Nathan MacKinnon and Kadri may have jumped onto the ice outside the 5-feet maximum distance between them. And when Kadri had the puck and was attacking the net, MacKinnon’s skates were still on the ice as he faced the bench.
Technically, MacKinnon must not have his skates on the ice when the player he changed for has the puck. But it’s a non-call as much as it’s called. And at one point during the shift change, the Lightning had seven players on the ice — one more than the Avs.
In another clip, JB says: “I thought it was nothing, honestly. That happens every second shift the entire game.” https://t.co/bb5rk1Bovm
— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) June 23, 2022
“That’s part of the game. It’s a fluid game. You’re changing on the fly,” Bednar said. “You look at that clip and you back that clip up — and I did multiple times to see exactly what they’re talking about — and Tampa’s got two guys jumping on with their D coming off the ice from the zone. I count seven (Lightning) and six (Avalanche) at one point. So that is what it is … I don’t see it as a break, a non-break, I think it’s actually nothing.”
Statement from NHL Hockey Operations on OT Game 4-winning goal: pic.twitter.com/U4dXa2GDTe
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) June 23, 2022
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Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper is scheduled to meet with the media later this morning.
This story will be updated.