The Colorado Avalanche are only one game away from lifting their their first Stanley Cup since 2001, courtesy of an Overtime winner from Nazem Kadri.
Kadri made his return to the Avalanche lineup after missing the last four games following the injury he sustained after being taken into the boards by Evander Kane in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals.
Colorado and Tampa Bay played a hard fought game that saw the Avalanche go a goal behind twice and tie the game just a few minutes into the final frame courtesy of Andrew Cogliano’s third goal of the postseason.
Controversy would strike just midway through the first Overtime period as Colorado would experience a long spell of sustained pressure, Nazem Kadri would receive a stretch pass from Artturi Lehkonen and cut through three Tampa defenders before beating Andrei Vasilevskiy to ice the game.
At first the broadcast, fans in the stadium and watching at home were unsure if the puck was in the net, but after a quick check from the on-ice officials it was confirmed that the puck was stuck under the back netting.
The puck getting stuck wouldn’t be the controversy coming out of the game however, as it appeared that leading up to the goal that Colorado had more than five skaters on the ice, which would be considered “Too Many Men”.
The picture above clearly shows six Avalanche skaters on the ice, with MacKinnon arriving at the bench as Kadri would enter the offensive zone, but Tampa also seems to have an extra two skaters on the ice heading off as well.
Here is what NHL Hockey Ops had to say after the game:
If the officials on the ice felt the play was deemed to be “too many men” than they could’ve whistled the play dead, but they felt that they either didn’t see the play that way or they might not have been fully aware of what was going on.
After the game Jon Cooper cut his media availability short and was visibly irritated as he ended his post-game press conference early.
Whether the goal should have counted or not is all up for debate now but nothing will change the result of the game, as Game Five is scheduled to head back to Denver as the Mile High City could see their Avalanche become NHL Champions once again on Friday.