The Carolina Hurricanes came shockingly undone in the final 20-plus minutes of Game 4 against the shorthanded Bruins, mainly due to a lack of discipline – and that starts with their head coach.
Rod Brind’Amour seems to have no regrets, despite arguably costing his team the game in a 5-2 loss to the Bruins that tied their playoff series at two wins apiece. The Hurricanes took nine penalties in all on Sunday, many of them legitimate – none more so than a failed challenge by Brind’Amour that gifted the B’s a fresh power play just after scoring to tie the game.
Jake DeBrusk got the equalizer for the Bruins after crashing the net and whacking home a loose puck from underneath the pads of Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta. Brind’Amour decided to challenge that the Bruins interfered with Raanta before the goal. Video replays didn’t give the officials nearly enough evidence to overturn the call on the ice of a goal, so it stood.
The failed challenge resulted in a delay of game penalty for the Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho committed a high-sticking against Patrice Bergeron that cut him open, giving the B’s another four minutes on top of that. And Brad Marchand ultimately made Brind’Amour and Aho pay with an early-third period goal on a two-man advantage, and the Bruins never looked back from there.
Sports Hub Underground | Bruins Postgame: Perfection Takes Over
(Click here to subscribe to the Sports Hub Underground podcast.)
Brind’Amour’s unsuccessful challenge tilted the game deeply in the Bruins’ favor, and he acknowledged that. But he stood by his decision to challenge.
“I would’ve bet my life on that one,” Brind’Amour said after the game. “It’s tough, because it’s clearly, clearly – especially the view that we saw after – in between his pads, loose, I’m all good with that. But the guy comes from the side, pushes his pad, squirts puck out, taps it in. Little different to me if the guy had been coming from the front and was actually playing the puck. You can’t play the puck when it’s in between his legs from the side and knock the goalie sideways … if you can, then I don’t know how [Nino] Niederreter’s goal isn’t a goal in the first game, when they said ‘100 percent no goal.’
“It’s tough. They’re too good of a team to just give them goals. We have no chance if we’re going to let that happen.”
You can see in the above clip of the goal that DeBrusk appears to move Raanta’s pad with his stick prior to shooting the loose puck. Problem is, Canes defenseman Brett Pesce also looks to make contact with the pad simultaneously. That’s not enough evidence to change the call on the ice to goalie interference – especially when NHL rules state that incidental contact is allowed when the goalie and player are simultaneously attempting to play the puck in a “rebound situation.” In this case it was DeBrusk, the goalie, and the defenseman.
Second, here’s the problem with Brind’Amour’s analogy to a disallowed goal from Game 1. Goalie interference was the ruling on the ice on that play. Disputing a bad call on the ice, and successfully overturning a call on a challenge, are two entirely different scenarios. The second one, of course, is a massive risk, especially in a tie game.
Brind’Amour’s gamble most certainly did not pay off, as the Hurricanes unraveled to allow three goals in the third period. The series between the Bruins and Hurricanes is now tied, and the Black & Gold seem to have all the momentum heading back to Carolina for Game 5 on Tuesday.
Regardless of how the series is officiated, it’s on the Hurricanes to keep themselves from collapsing amid adversity. And it’s on Brind’Amour to do his best not to get in his own team’s way.
PHOTOS: Bruins take on Hurricanes in Game 4 of 2022 playoff series
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.