The Edmonton Oilers thought they beat the Calgary Flames in overtime Thursday but after a coach’s challenge, Ryan Strome’s goal was waved off when it was ruled Connor McDavid interfered with Flames netminder David Rittich.
The game went to a shootout and the Oilers won thanks to a nifty McDavid deke but when the Oilers captain scored he made a sarcastic gesture to the officials, indicating they should “go upstairs” and review whether or not he interfered with Rittich on his shootout goal.
McDavid called it “frustration” when speaking with media at Rogers Place following the game.
“Probably shouldn’t have done it obviously, but that’s the way it goes. I was frustrated,” McDavid explained. “I thought it wasn’t the right call. They’re just doing their job trying to do what’s best for the game and you don’t always have to agree with that.
“Obviously should not have done that but that’s frustration.”
Thursday’s goal reversal is the latest in a series of questionable goalie interference calls hockey fans have witnessed in recent days and weeks. McDavid, like most players and fans, hopes for more consistency going forward.
“I think everyone just wants black and white. I think everyone just wants it to be goaltender interference or not,” McDavid added. “I mean, I haven’t really looked at the play—I looked at it on the replay on the jumbotron—and I see myself trying to make a play at the net and I’m turning, I’m trying to get out of the way, I do avoid the goalie but I catch his stick.
“If I’m a goaltender I’m just going to start grabbing at guys’ feet and I’m going to start trying to sell it. It’s frustrating, but ultimately, like I always say, I’m always trying to defend the refs. I feel like I’m always good to the refs. I try not to do stuff like I did tonight, but ultimately I did what I did and hopefully not too upset at me. I’m sure they are but that’s the way it goes. I know they’re trying to do the right thing always but I think players just want black and white and that’s all.”
When asked for his thoughts on the disallowed goal, Oilers coach Todd McLellan chose his words carefully.
“I have thoughts but I’m probably best to keep them to myself,” he told reporters at Rogers Place after the game. “I’ll let that speak for what my thoughts are.”