TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper was not happy after Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Cooper was short in his postgame news conference after the Avalanche beat the Lightning 3-2 in overtime. Cooper was frustrated because he felt there was a missed call at the end of the game that should have taken Nazem Kadri's winning goal off the board. Cooper and the Lightning claimed the Avalanche had too many men on the ice when Kadri scored.
UPDATE: The NHL is now saying that Erik Johnson was not on the ice when the winning goal was scored. However this picture, courtesy of @faiello_mari, still shows six Avalanche players on the ice at the time of the goal. https://t.co/Uh685EndxV pic.twitter.com/CUwJPVdDi6— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) June 23, 2022
"You’re gonna see what I mean when you see the winning goal," Cooper said before abruptly ending his news conference. "My heart breaks for the players because we probably still should be playing."
The replay video does show the Avalanche having too many men on the ice, as Nathan MacKinnon and Erik Johnson skated toward the bench away from the play as Kadri was about to score. The NHL released a statement after the game about the no-call.
"A too many men on the ice penalty is a judgement call that can be made by any of the four on-ice officials," the statement said. "Following the game, Hockey Operations met with the four officials as it their normal protocol. In discussing the winning goal, each of the four officials advised that they did not see a too many men on the ice situation on the play. This call is not subject to video review either by Hockey Ops or the on-ice officials."
The Avalanche were awarded the goal and the win, meaning they are only one victory away from claiming the Stanley Cup. And they're not too concerned about Cooper or the Lightning's grief about the goal.
"I'm not really sure what he was thinking, why it shouldn't have counted," Kadri said. "That confuses me a little bit. The puck hit the back of the net. End of story. Not sure why he'd say that."