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Friday’s FTB: What is interference?

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Tell us please.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

So the Leafs lost 3-2 to the Washington Capitals last night.

Recap: Leafs lose 3-2 in a game I couldn’t possibly hate more

Between the refs, Tom Wilson, and a dominant stretch leading to a sloppy end, this game sucked.

They came on strong in the third period and John Tavares made it interesting in the final minute of the game, but they couldn’t get the next set of goals to push it to overtime. Unfortunate, but that’s the way she goes sometimes.

That’s not what I’m here to discuss. I want to know one thing: what is interference!?

The sequence of the Capitals’ first goal is what is wrong with NHL reffing at times. I’m in no way blaming the Leafs defeat on this, however, come on man.

Morgan Rielly was called for holding at 16:22 of the second period. Nothing to dispute there, he clearly hooked Evgeny Kuznetsov and was deserving of the penalty. But just to make sure, let’s go to the NHL rulebook.

54.1 Holding – Any action by a player that restrains or impedes the progress of an opposing player whether or not he is in possession of the puck.

Can we agree that Rielly was holding on to him to the extent of the call? Yes? Ok let’s move on.

Seconds after, this happens which looks a lot like interference to me. Please direct your attention to the top right of the GIF focusing in on Zach Hyman and Alexander Ovechkin.

Ovechkin kicks Hyman’s stick away, but who am I, let’s go to the rulebook.

56.2 Minor Penalty - A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck.

That’s a little vague to describe the situation here, luckily the rules go further into detail.

A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who deliberately knocks a stick out of an opponent’s hand, or who prevents a player who has dropped his stick or any other piece of equipment from regaining possession of it.

No need to explain this here. Refs are going to miss calls, they’re human. What’s frustrating is what Nikita Zaitsev is called for later in the period.

Soft and inconsistent. One of many examples of poor penalty calling in the league that needs to be fixed. You run into trouble when some things are called while others aren’t leading to moments where Ovechkin can kick away Hyman’s stick but Zaitsev is called for bumping Travis Boyd.

Just fix it please.

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