“Chevy’s on it, so I’m as confused as anybody,” Bowness said. “I gotta be careful what I say.”
With the Stars down 4-3 late in the game, captain Jamie Benn drove the puck hard to the net and made contact with Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck, knocking the keeper’s helmet off. With Hellebuyck laying flat on the ice out of his net, play continued and the puck came around to Jason Robertson, who wired home a shot from the point to tie the score with just 20 seconds left on the clock.
After a long video review — initiated by the NHL’s situation room due to the fact that it was in the final minute of regulation — referee Garrett Rank announced that it was deemed Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey caused Benn to hit Hellebuyck, and therefore the goal counted.
While the Jets were clearly unhappy on the bench — Mark Scheifele was given a 10-minute misconduct for abuse of officials afterwards — but they responded quickly in overtime with Morrissey scoring the winner on a breakaway.
“Obviously I hit Benn, as a result he goes into Bucky. But I don’t see a reality where the goalie can have no helmet on and a goal be allowed three seconds after,” Morrissey said after the game. “I just don’t see how that’s, for player safety, he’s lying on the ice without a helmet on in front of the net. If he takes a shot off the face that’s an extremely dangerous situation. So it’s pretty cut and dry to me.”
Rule 9.6 states that if a goaltender loses his helmet when the opponent has the puck “play should only be stopped if there is no immediate or pending scoring opportunity.”
Since the NHL does not allow coach’s challenges in the final minute of regulation, the Jets were unable to request a review of a missed stoppage on Hellebuyck’s lost helmet.
“The explanation was our guy caused it to happen but regardless our goalie’s down on his stomach with no mask,” Bowness said. “I’m as confused as anybody.”
In a statement, the NHL said “The decision was made in accordance with Note 2 of Rule 38.11 (ii) which states, in part, that the goal should be allowed because “the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by the defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper.” The statement did not mention the fact Hellebuyck’s mask was off at the time of the goal.