Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar says nothing to controversy surrounding Nazem Kadri’s Game 4 winning goal

TAMPA, Fla. — Jared Bednar said there was “nothing” in the controversy over Nazem Kadri’s game-winning goal in the Colorado Avalanche’s 3-2 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday.

Kadri scored mid-extra frame to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead with a chance to end the Lightning in Game 5 on Friday.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was the first to say in his (brief) press conference Wednesday night that the goal shouldn’t have counted. Video replay appeared to show Colorado with too many men on the ice when Kadri scored and that it was Kadri who made an improper line change seconds before Nathan MacKinnon returned to the bench.

Bednar said he viewed the footage as well but saw nothing wrong with Colorado being executed.

“Honestly, I thought it was nothing,” he said Thursday. “It’s part of the game. It’s a fluid game. You change spontaneously, everything happens. – and Tampa has two guys who jump off the ice with their D from a zone further. I count 7-6 at one point. So it is. This is how the game is played. I don’t see it as a break or a no-break. I actually see it as nothing.

Cooper and the Lightning clearly felt different. And at least at first, it looked like Tampa Bay was right. The NHL’s original game report listed six players on the ice for that Kadri goal. The sheet was later amended to list only five.

The NHL’s official response was that a penalty for too many men was a “discretionary decision” on the part of officials and could not be reviewed.

“After the game, Hockey Operations met with the four officials as is their normal protocol,” the league said in a statement. “When discussing the winning goal, each of the four officials advised that they had not seen a situation with too many men on the ice during the game. This call is not subject to video review by either hockey ops or on-ice officials.”

On Thursday, Cooper apologized for the short but sizzling post-game press conference but still feels the Avalanche should have been punished before Kadri scored in OT.

“I [found] It’s strange that they were so open to the play, but there’s nothing you can really do [see] from our vantage point on the bench. So the only way I can find out is by going back in the room and watching the tape,” Cooper said Thursday before the Lightning departed for Denver. “Then [I] have to face you every five minutes after an emotional loss. And so I apologize for last night, because that’s what you get when you have to speak to the media right away.”

Despite this, Cooper still believes the referees “missed” the crucial goal.

“The reason there is a rule is [in case] You get a significant benefit, and that’s probably what happened there. But that happens as always with line changes. It’s an imprecise science. But the purpose of the rule is not to gain an advantage. So it’s a shame,” he said.

Colorado forward Darren Helm said he didn’t see Cooper’s emotional post-game presser or engage in the drama surrounding Kadri’s goal. Cale Makar admitted he was aware of the apparent problem with Kadri’s goal but hadn’t delved into the details.

“I haven’t really looked at it from different angles yet,” he said. “So I would be a bad judge [dissecting] the.”

What everyone agreed on was the impact Kadri had on his debut in the cup final. The forward had been sidelined since breaking his thumb in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against Edmonton on June 4. He underwent surgery after being boarded by Evander Kane and just started shooting pucks again this week.

Kadri was keen to play in the first cup final of his career and caused a sensation in the process.

“He’s just been very consistent for us,” Makar said of Kadri. “Obviously he’s there and down with the injury [in Game 4] I feel like he played his part well and was able to keep his feet moving for most of the game. So you can’t ask much more from a guy who comes back after a few weeks off.”

Cooper had no injury updates for center Brayden Point, who missed his second straight game with a lower body injury; Defender Erik Cernak, who left Game 4 after blocking a shot in the second period; or shutdown center Anthony Cirelli, who injured his arm in Game 4 but finished the game.

The Lightning are one loss away from seeing their shot at a three-pointer if the Stanley Cup champion falls short.

“So the mountain is a bit higher. Well, at least we’re still climbing. we are not outside [We were down] 3-1, 3-2 for Toronto. What the hell is the difference?” said Cooper. “We still have to take to the streets and win a hockey game. We would have to win a game away anyway. We didn’t have home ice cream. So why not tomorrow?”

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.