In a recent game between the New York Rangers and the Colorado Avalanche, a peculiar incident took place that left both players and referees perplexed. This article delves into the details of the play and examines the implications of a controversial penalty call.

The Play Unfolds

As the game progressed, two noteworthy events captured the attention of the players, referees, and spectators. Let’s break down what happened:

1. The Hit and the Penalty Call:
– During the game, a player from the Colorado Avalanche was struck in the face, resulting in an injury.
– The referee swiftly identified the infraction as a penalty and signaled the offending player to leave the ice and serve time in the penalty box.

2. Unveiling the Twist:
– Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that the player’s own teammate was responsible for the accidental blow to the face.
– The teammate’s stick, inadvertently propelled upward while attempting to impede an opposing player, connected with his teammate’s nose, causing the injury.

The Dilemma: Seeking the Truth

The revelation of the accidental nature of the hit introduced a layer of complexity to the situation. Here’s how the subsequent events unfolded:

1. Referees’ Doubt and Self-Review:
– The referees, now questioning the validity of their initial call, decided to conduct their own review of the incident.
– Requesting the replay footage, they hoped to ascertain whether the penalty had been correctly attributed to the New York Rangers player.
– However, they encountered an unexpected hurdle—a rule stipulating that only four-minute penalties could be reviewed, whereas the penalty in question was a mere two minutes.
– Consequently, the referees were unable to access the footage and validate their suspicions.

2. The Rule’s Limitations:
– As per NHL regulations, two-minute penalties, such as the one imposed in this case, cannot undergo review.
– This restriction prevented the referees from rectifying a potential error, despite their doubts regarding the initial call.

3. The Coach’s Frustration:
– With no opportunity to rectify the situation, the referees were obliged to inform the coach of their predicament.
– The coach expressed his disappointment with the existing rule, arguing that if officials themselves deem a review necessary, it should be granted.
– Nevertheless, the decision stood, and the game continued without any alteration to the penalty or the outcome.

Contemplating the Consequences

The incident raised questions about the fairness and effectiveness of the NHL’s review system. Consider the following implications:

– The NHL’s inability to review a two-minute penalty, even when the officials themselves are uncertain, appears to be a flaw in the current rules.
– Prevented from accessing crucial footage, the referees were unable to correct a potentially incorrect call.
– The outcome of the game, including the subsequent power play and penalty kill, may have been influenced by this contentious incident.
– The incident highlights the need for a revised review system that allows officials to reassess penalties when they have doubts, irrespective of the penalty’s duration.


The controversial play between the New York Rangers and the Colorado Avalanche underscored the limitations of the NHL’s current penalty review system. The inability to revisit a two-minute penalty, even in cases where the officials themselves harbor doubts, poses significant challenges to fairness and accuracy. The incident serves as a catalyst for discussions surrounding potential revisions to the NHL’s rules, promoting a more comprehensive and just review process.