The first NHL coach’s challenge has been used in successful fashion. Nearing six and a half minutes into the second period, captain Max Pacioretty fed a pass to defenseman Jeff Petry, and he buried his chance to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs. As he celebrated the goal, head coach Mike Babcock gather up with his coaching staff and made the decision to use their coach’s challenge.
And as quickly as the pass was turned into a goal, the goal was overturned. Watch as Mike Babcock uses first Coach’s Challenge in the NHL.
As the Sportsnet announcers mentioned, the goal was overturned for the simple fact that goaltender Jonathan Bernier was obstructed, taking away any chance to maneuver himself to the other side to make the save. The play was initially called a goal on the ice, but the play itself went unnoticed by officials before they were forced to take a second look at the play.
What’s interesting to note is that if the play was ruled to be a goal regardless, Mike Babcock would lose his timeout as a result of calling a coach’s challenge that could not overturn a decision. Due to it changing the outcome, not only did Babcock not lose his time out, he can make another challenge on a play later in the game. In fact, he could make as many challenges during the game, as long as they all overturn the decision on the ice.
As we are in the very first night of the 2015-16 season, the first coach’s challenge has been issued and was utilized in the best possible situation; A goal was scored on a play that was called into question, a team challenged and got the outcome they hoped for. Are you pleased with this method of calling a referee’s decision into question? Let us know in the comments below.