TAMPA, Fla. — While the Avalanche are on the verge of winning their first Stanley Cup in over 20 years, the story of Game 4 Wednesday night was a possible missed call that led to Colorado’s win.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper made it a point Wednesday to mention he felt officials had missed a “too many men on the ice” call right before Nazem Kadri scored the game-winner in overtime. The video replay did show the Avalanche had six players on the ice, as they were changing shifts seconds before the goal.
On Thursday, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar was asked about the no-call.
“I thought it was nothing, honestly. I thought that happens every second shift in the entire game,” Bednar said. “That’s part of the game. It’s a fluid game. You’re changing on the fly, everything happens. You look at that clip, you back that clip up — and I did multiple times already to see what exactly what they were talking about — and Tampa’s got two guys jumping on with their D coming off the ice from a zone away. I count 7-6 at one point. So that is what it is.
“That’s the way the game is played. I don’t see it as a break or a non-break. I actually see it as nothing.”
For Cooper, who was so emotional about the missed call that he abruptly ended his postgame press conference, said Thursday it was a tough break and that the Lightning have moved on.
“I apologize for last night because that’s what you get when you have to speak to the media right away,” Cooper said. “What’s great about today is that it’s not yesterday, and now I got some excitement for Game 5 and that’s where like now my mind’s turning on how to win that. Not anything we can do to turn back. They missed it. It’s unfortunate, but it’s water under the bridge now.
“That happens like all the time in line changes. It’s an inexact science. But the purpose of the rule is not to gain an advantage. So it’s too bad.”
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh echoed Cooper’s statement, adding that “it probably happens a million more times a game more than we think.”
As for the rest of the officiating, neither side had any issues. There were zero penalties given in the third period and overtime, as the officials let the game play out without interfering.