Charlie Coyle hasn’t thought about overturned goal, but NHL GMs have

Matt Kalman
November 20, 2019 - 3:03 pm

The Bruins have one fewer goal scored and possibly one fewer win because of the video review that determined Charlie Coyle entered the Montreal zone offside in the third period of a Nov. 5 Boston 5-4 loss at the Canadiens.

But the determination by the officials that Coyle didn’t have possession before entering the zone, despite him kicking the puck from his skate to his stick on entry, hasn’t changed the way Coyle plays.

“No, no … I would’ve done that play [maybe differently> … the only thing I can think of, and it’s so easy to say now, I would’ve brought my foot back to make sure I got even more [of the blue line>,” Coyle recently told WEEI.com. “But you know you’re going at a pretty good speed, and it just didn’t [work>, so it’s a simple thing. But you practice things like that all the time in practice, catching puck there.

“But no, I haven’t been thinking about it like ‘oh, I got to make sure I do this, really make sure I’m OK.’ Because then you’re playing like a robot. So you’ve just got to trust your instincts and that’s one we just missed by that much, you know.”

The call hasn’t changed Coyle but it might change the rule. The play was discussed at the NHL general manager meetings in Toronto and Tuesday. And it sounds like it’ll be discussed again at the bigger GM meetings in March.

Pierre LeBrun of TSN reported during an Insider Trading segment on Tuesday:

“They asked the GMs, at the GM meetings, they polled them, they said ‘do you believe that Charlie Coyle on that overturned goal, is that a skilled play in terms of a zone entry?’ And the overwhelming answer on Tuesday at the GM meetings was yes, we consider that a skilled play. Now don’t confuse that with whether or not they believe that should be a goal, although I think most GMs do believe that. What it means is that they’re going to discuss this at the March GM meetings as far as tweaking the language of puck control on zone entries for offside and maybe changing it where it’s stick on puck.”

So the controversy might cause the GMs to specify in the rule book that possession means the puck is on a player’s stick, rather than go the other way and say “well players make that kick play all the time so that’s possession.”

Either way, you won’t get an argument from Coyle, who admitted that possession is a difficult thing to determine and it could be a slippery slope if the rule of possession is expanded even a little bit.

“It’s just so hard because if I have the puck on my stick I can skate backwards into [the zone> so I think guys are good enough where you use your feet, you use your foot to control a puck. You know that’s a tough one because you can say I have it, you can say it bounces off my foot in,” Coyle said. “You know I’ve got it and I know I have it and no one’s around me, no one’s touching me, so that’s tough line, where’s the line? So I understand it, but you wish you could just make rules up that are so concrete and this and that, but it’s sports, that’s not always the case.”

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