Bruce Cassidy on Toronto's first goal: 'Clearly interferes with Tuukka'

Evan Marinofsky
April 20, 2019 - 12:00 am

The most controversial play of the series played out on Friday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 to take a 3-2 series lead. 

The Maple Leafs came out on the right end; the Bruins on the wrong end. 

With 11 minutes gone in the third period, Auston Matthews one-timed a slap shot right past Tuukka Rask for the first goal of the game. But on the play, Zach Hyman backed into Rask, leading the Bruins to challenge the call for goaltender interference. 

The call stood, the lead stood, and the Leafs went on to add a second goal before fending off a last-minute comeback bid.

Bruce Cassidy wasn't a fan of the decision. 

"Clearly interferes with Tuukka," said Cassidy. "It goes to Toronto and they have to make a decision. I just hope they don't predict whether the goalie could make the save, get across in time, whether or not it's interference. Either it's interference or it's not." 

It ended up being ruled no goalie interference. Rask disagreed. 

"I just felt the contact so I went after the ref there, let him know that there was contact," said Rask. "They looked at it, so it's a goal. I mean, I just saw him, he had the puck, as soon as he passed it he kind of like bumped into my head and then that was it."

The NHL Situation Room put out a statement emphasizing that, "If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the original call on the ice will be confirmed."

Could Rask have saved it if Hyman hadn't backed into him? He thinks so.

"Yeah," answered Rask. "I would have gotten a push because I saw the pass going that way, but it just kind of distracted me. It wasn't a major contact, you know, it happens so quick that you don't want to start selling it. I guess if I just fell on my ass there it might have been a different story, but yeah. Tough." 

Despite Cassidy disagreeing with Friday night's no call, his opinion on the refereeing in the series has been positive. 

"We have a supervisor that follows the series around," said Cassidy. "Both coaches voice if there's something. I thought the officiating has been very good in this series. There was no issues up in Toronto." 

At the end of the day, Cassidy still wasn't happy about the call. 

"From my viewpoint, it certainly looked like goaltender interference," said Cassidy. "The call didn't go our way. It's 1-0 with eight minutes to go. We have time to get ourselves back in the game. Unfortunately we weren't able to do that." 

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Related: Pair of third-period goals lift Maple Leafs to 3-2 series lead over Bruins