Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Jon Cooper calls for more NHL replay use

MONTREAL — One day, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, goaltender interference calls will be reviewed by video, and when that rule is in place, "It will be called the Tampa rule."

"Whether it's today, a year from now or five years from now," Cooper said, "the nickname will be the Tampa rule."

Cooper was asked about video replay in light of the controversial call that disallowed Ryan Callahan's goal in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

The call — in which Lightning F Alex Killorn was said to have interfered with G Carey Price — took away Tampa Bay's 2-1 lead with 4:22 left in the second period.

The Lightning's beef was that Canadiens D P.K. Subban impeded Killorn from getting out of the net, which Killorn fell into after tripping over Price during a scoring chance; Price purposefully initiated the contact with Killorn as Killorn tried to exit the crease (though this is allowed under Rule 69.3); and Price had plenty of time to re-establish his position before Callahan scored.

By rule, none of it was reviewable, something Cooper and Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said should change.

"I just think, especially in the playoffs, where everything is magnified, we have to do everything possible to get it right," Cooper said Monday. "Whatever policies are in place, if the game goes an extra 90 seconds I don't think anybody will mind if the ultimate goal, no pun intended, is to get it right."

"Every goal and every non-goal should be replayed," Yzerman said. "Whether it's called a goal or disallowed, we should have a replay."

Callahan's disallowed goal was part of an officiating nightmare, as far as the Lightning was concerned.

A linesmen blew dead a Steven Stamkos breakaway in which Stamkos appeared to have his skate on the blue line. And Montreal's Brandon Prust probably should have been called for interference for knocking down Stamkos, who then was inadvertently kneed in the head by Alexei Emelin and briefly left the game.

But the question of replay for disallowed goals was the hottest topic.

"Do I think the discussion should be had? Absolutely," Lightning D Eric Brewer said. "It should have been a while back. The ability to challenge a play, that's kind of where we're at. If we're going to review questionable goals, why are we not doing other things?"

Here's where things get tricky with Callahan's disallowed goal: under rule 69.3 a goal can be disallowed even if the goalie initiates contact with an attacking player in the crease.

What video review might have revealed was if Price, as it seemed, had time to re-establish his position after the contact was made.

"But that's not in the rules, so it's a moot point," Cooper said. "I understand that and the game has survived 100 years without this, so I'm okay with it. We know the rules coming in. But, eventually, with the goal being to promote offense and goals and stuff like that, you want to get those right."

A "Tampa rule" might help.

STAMKOS UPDATE: Stamkos, who missed the final 3:51 of the second after taking Emelin's knee to the head, said he feels "pretty good" and expects to play Game 4.

Stamkos said he did not believe Emelin's hit was malicious.

"It was just the kind of play that happens in a game," he said.

It's not him: In asking a question of Cooper about G Anders Lindback, a reporter remarked he thought Lindback was exceptional in Game 3 with 28 saves after allowing a breakaway goal in the first 11 seconds.

"You just answered your own question," Cooper said. "To bounce back the way he did, especially in a period when they had Grade A chances, that's what you need in a goaltender. You need a goaltender to turn the page. I thought he played a hell of a game for us.

"If anybody is going to sit here and say Lindback is the reason you're down 0-3, then you're not watching."

BISHOP UPDATE: G Ben Bishop (elbow) skated for about 20 minutes. Cooper said he is getting "closer and closer" to a return but will not be available for Game 4.

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