After the Bruins’ 5-2 win over the Hurricanes on Sunday night of the two-game-a-piece first-round series — Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour made some outspoken remarks about the NHL’s leadership.
The controversy began late in the second period, just as Boston forward Jake DeBrusk scored to make it 2-2. The goal was messy, resulting only in a goal-mouth tussle (with DeBrusk eventually applying the finish).
Brind’Amour believed goaltender Antti Raanta had been disturbed by Carolina, but replays led to an inconclusive investigation into who hit Raanta’s left pad (causing him to move).
Still, the Hurricanes’ coach went ahead with his coach’s challenge anyway. After review, the goal was confirmed and Carolina was charged with delaying the game. A second Hurricanes penalty 51 seconds later gave the Bruins a 5-on-3 that continued into the third period. And just before the end of the last power play Brad Marchand scored the decisive goal for Boston.
After that, Brind’Amour remained unchanged in his opinion on DeBrusk’s goal.
“I would have bet my life on it,” Brind’Amour said of the challenge. “It’s difficult. That’s clear, especially the prospect that we saw afterwards [the puck’s] between its pads and loose. I’m quite good at it. But the guy [DeBrusk] comes in from the side, pushes his pads, squirts the puck out, taps it in. That’s quite a bit different when the guy [was] came from the front and actually played the puck. You can’t play the puck if it’s between his legs from the side and hit the goalie sideways.”
The NHL cited Rule 69.7 to justify the call. The rule states that “In a rebound situation, or when a goaltender and one or more attacking players simultaneously attempt to play a loose puck, whether inside or outside the goal line, accidental contact is permitted and any goal scored as a result of which is permitted.”
Brind’Amour wasn’t convinced, calling the goal a “gift” to the Bruins.
“They are too good a team to just give them goals,” he said. “We won’t stand a chance if that happens.”
Game 5 of the series begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Carolina
Get the latest sports news from Boston
Get updates on your favorite Boston teams straight to your inbox from our newsroom.