The Colorado Avalanche recently secured victory in the Stanley Cup, but their journey was not without controversy. In particular, the ending of Game Four raised numerous eyebrows and generated a significant amount of discussion. While this incident occurred some time ago, it remains an intriguing topic worth exploring. Some individuals may still be unaware of the details, while others who were present in the arena during the game have firsthand knowledge. This article delves into the controversy surrounding the game, shedding light on the events that unfolded and the subsequent aftermath.

Game Four Overtime Drama

With eight minutes left in overtime (OT), the Avalanche held a 2-1 series lead. A three-goal advantage is generally considered favorable, and the tension was palpable. It all came down to a crucial play involving Cale Makar of the Avalanche. Makar made a pass to Andre Burakovsky, who then took a shot that sailed under the goaltender’s arms, seemingly scoring a goal. However, confusion ensued as the puck became lodged on the back bar of the net, leaving everyone uncertain of its whereabouts.

Amidst the confusion, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning managed to discreetly locate the puck and slyly knock it out of the net. The Avalanche players, believing the goal had been scored, erupted in celebration, while the Lightning players grew despondent. The crowd mirrored the players’ emotions, with a wave of joy engulfing Avalanche supporters while the Lightning fans were left dejected.

Coaches and Players’ Reactions

One interesting observation was the immediate reaction of the coaches and players on both sides. As soon as the play unfolded, they shifted their gaze downward, seemingly fixated on something. It was later revealed that coaches and players have access to TVs on the bench, allowing them to review replays of key moments during the game. In this case, they relied on the replays to determine the outcome of the disputed goal. Ultimately, they concluded that it was indeed a goal, prompting a sense of relief for the Avalanche and further despair for the Lightning.

Unraveling the Controversy

Following the game, doubts began to surface, prompting further examination of the incident. The Lightning coach, while admitting defeat, expressed his belief that there had been an infraction during the play. Specifically, he highlighted the presence of too many men on the ice at the time the goal was scored. Upon closer inspection, it became evident that the Lightning had indeed violated the rules by having six players on the ice instead of the regulation five.

The NHL rule states that a player can only enter the ice when the player they are replacing is five feet away from the bench. However, there is a certain degree of leniency when a player near the bench does not significantly impact the play. Such instances, where a player lingers near the bench without interfering, are commonly observed in the game. Nevertheless, the key question was whether the player involved in the line change had violated this rule and whether it provided an advantage to the Avalanche.

Assessing the Line Change

Upon reviewing the sequence leading up to the goal, it was clear that the line change made by the Avalanche was indeed flawed. The player in question, Nazem Kadri, believed his teammate was coming off the ice and promptly jumped on to replace him. However, his teammate did not make his way to the bench as anticipated, resulting in an improper line change. At the moment the shot was taken, Kadri was off the ice, but his teammate had not reached the designated five-foot mark.

It is worth considering whether this flawed line change truly benefited the Avalanche and influenced the outcome of the game. In this particular situation, it can be argued that the premature line change allowed Kadri to be in a favorable position to receive the pass and score the winning goal. If Kadri had waited for his teammate to reach the bench as required, he would have been considerably delayed in getting to the intended scoring area, potentially altering the outcome of the play.

The Impact of the Controversial Goal

Although it cannot be definitively stated that the illegal line change directly caused the goal, there is a plausible argument to be made in favor of its influence. The Avalanche utilized the opportunity created by the flawed line change to their advantage, ultimately securing a pivotal win in the Stanley Cup series, putting them up 3-1.

The confusion surrounding the location of the puck and the subsequent celebration and disappointment among the fans added to the intrigue of the moment. Notably, there was one observant Avalanche fan in the crowd who closely followed the play and witnessed the puck going into the net. This fan holds the distinction of being the official fan of the video, courtesy of SeatGeek, who sponsored the event.


In conclusion, the Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup victory was marred by a controversial goal in Game Four. The incident involved a disputed line change and subsequent winning goal scored by the Avalanche. While the legality of the line change remains a point of contention, the impact it had on the outcome cannot be ignored. The controversy surrounding the game serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of sports and the significant role that split-second decisions and rule interpretations can play in determining the final result.