BOSTON – There’s always a bit of uncertainty any time a goal is challenged by video review regardless of the circumstances. But the Bruins were pretty certain things were going to break their way in Tuesday night’s 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks challenged that the Bruins were offside when they scored the game’s first goal in the first period on a Charlie Coyle rebound bid after a Charlie McAvoy point shot. The zone entry was a bit of a tricky one, as McAvoy walked down the blue line with the puck while waiting for Sean Kuraly to tag up on the delayed offside. But the Bruins D-man did a very smart thing by letting the puck go until his forwards had tagged up at the blue line.
“Out of my peripheral [vision] I thought that Kuraly had tagged up, but I wasn’t sure. But we were lucky to see that one stand,” said McAvoy. “I was just trying to delay so they could get out of the zone. I tried to straddle the blue for as long as I could. I just tried to not touch [the puck] until he was there.”
The Canucks thought the play was offside as many casual fans did while watching the play unfold, but NHL officials upheld the goal while clearly stating it was about McAvoy waiting until his teammates had tagged up before he made a play with the puck.
“It was determined that Boston’s Sean Kuraly legally tagged up at the blue line prior to Charlie McAvoy entering the offensive zone and touching the puck", per the NHL release.
Considering that the Bruins had suffered through a half-dozen goals getting overturned by coach’s challenges in the first half of the year, it was some Black and Gold justice that the first score was kept on the board. The Bruins went on to dominate the game while almost doubling up on Vancouver’s shot total during the game, but the call was a big one early in a scoreless game where a quick momentum could have changed the complexion of the game.
It was also a goal the Bruins had a pretty good notion that it was going to count once they started watching the instant replay of the Coyle goal via the coach’s iPads on the bench.
“We felt like it was [going to go our way],” said Bruce Cassidy. “Charlie didn’t touch the puck until Kuraly had cleared and that was clarified quickly on the bench when we looked at it the second time. The first time I could tell Sean was still in the zone, but we hadn’t touched the puck yet. So I was a little surprised they challenged it, but that’s the way it goes. We weren’t able to capitalize on the [subsequent] power play, but I was just happy to see the goal stand to be honest with you.”
So were the legions of Bruins fans watching the game that have seen a handful of close goals go against them, including a similar play in Montreal earlier this season where it was ruled Charlie Coyle didn’t have possession when the puck was between his skates entering the zone.