Once again officiating is stealing the spotlight in Denver.
In the opening minutes of Game 7 the Colorado Avalanche went up on the power play and went to work. They crashed the net hard and that's when all heck broe loose around Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper.
Watch the play above and pay special attention to the referee behind the net. He initially signals no goal. It was eventually ruled a good goal.
What the issue on the play seemed to be regarded Jamie McGinn and his play to crash the crease. It looked like he got in the way of Kuemper, preventing him from trying to make a save on the next Avalanche shot but after a conference -- and disagreement from the Wild -- the referees called it a goal. Nick Holden was credited with the tally, assists to McGinn and Matt Duchene.
Once again on the biggest stage a questionable goaltender interference call was thrust into the equation. It's almost like this should be something that can be reviewable as Roberto Luongo pointed out.
Hey it's only the season on the line. No reason at all to have video review on an interference play like that! Makes total sense #brutal— Strombone (@strombone1) May 1, 2014
Certainly it was debateable both ways but when you have one official, the official who is right there, calling it no goal immediately, it's going to raise questions when the score is put up on the board.
For the record, though, it had nothing to do with interference but instead the ref thought he saw a high stick. The NHL's official explanation:
At 2:52 of the first period in the Minnesota Wild/Colorado Avalanche game, Colorado's Nick Holden shot the puck into the Minnesota net in a legal fashion. The in-zone referee initially waved his arms after the puck crossed the goal line as a reaction to a potential infraction for high-sticking the puck. The on-ice officials then huddled regarding the play to discuss if it was a good hockey goal and agreed the goal would stand. Good goal Colorado.
It didn't take long for the Wild to get the goal back, however, as Mikko Koivu fired home a bullet less than five minutes later to even the game up. But after the controversial ending to Game 5 in Denver, the Wild have to be wondering what they need to do to get the benefit on the big calls in this series.