Today, in the second period of game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Boston Bruins were leading the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. With the Lightning buzzing in the Bruins end, goalie Tuukka Rask lost his skate blade on a Yanni Gourde shot.
After the play in question, Rask tried to get the on-ice officials attention. Instead of continuing the play Rask became preoccupied with his dislodged skate blade. Rask tried to get a whistle on the play. There wasn’t one.
The Lightning didn’t give up on the play and defensemen Mikhail Sergachev scored a power-play goal to cut the Bruins lead to 3-2. After the goal, Rask pleaded his case, but the refs weren’t buying Rask’s argument.
After failing to successfully plead his case, Rask snapped. He took his skate blade and tossed it across the ice. Rask was lucky he didn’t receive a penalty on the play. Should Rask get a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety? (Video of the snap in question below)
The play caused quite a play on Twitter, but here’s the deal, goalie equipment issues aren’t grounds for blowing a play dead. The only instance is when the goalie loses his mask. Rask could’ve flung his mask off, but probably would’ve ended up taking a penalty anyway.
Here’s the explanation straight from the NHL rulebook.
When a goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask and his
team has control of the puck, the play shall be stopped immediately to allow the goalkeeper the opportunity to regain his helmet and/or face mask. When the opposing team has control of the puck, play shall only be stopped if there is no immediate and impending scoring opportunity. This stoppage of play must be made by the Referee. When play is stopped because the goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask, the ensuing face-off shall take place at one of the defending team’s end zone face-off spots.
The NHL also sent out this tweet explaining why the play wasn’t blown dead.
In the end, it didn’t matter anyway. After Sergachev’s goal, the Bruins scored three unanswered goals and cruised past the Lightning 6-2.
IMHO, the stars of the game, the Bruins first line of Brad Marchand (1g-3a–4pts), David Pastrnak (0g-4a–4pts), Patrice Bergeron (2g-1a–3pts), together they combined for 11 points.
Marchand and Bergeron had another fabulous day on the ice.