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Bottom Six Minutes 78: NHL officials don’t even know the rules

The Flyers weren’t even allowed to challenge a Mike Hoffman goal that shouldn’t have counted.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Today marks the 100th running of the Bottom Six Minutes, and in true 2021-22 Montreal Canadiens fashion, it comes with a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. There were plenty of worthwhile topics to choose from — Carey Price was not his normal self, the Habs missed a number of high-quality scoring chances, and

But in true Bottom Six Minutes fashion, I have to turn this article into a complaint about the officials.

But there is a bit of a plot twist to this complaint, because their big mistake for Thursday night’s game actually benefited the Canadiens. On their first goal, there was a clear hand pass by Brendan Gallagher that led directly to Mike Hoffman scoring.

I was under the initial impression that the Flyers weren’t allowed to challenge the play. Apparently the officials were under that same impression, because that is precisely what they told the Philly bench when they asked about challenging it.

I did feel some poetic justice in Gallagher being involved given his history with disallowed goals, but this still bothers me. It is one thing for fans like myself to misunderstand the challenge rules, but another thing for highly paid officials at the top of the game to not know what can and can’t be challenged.

It speaks to something I’ve discussed ad nauseam on this podcast, that NHL officiating is a complete joke. Not only do they get challenge calls wrong on a regular basis, they’re icing officiating crews who don’t actually know the rules surrounding said challenges. From an administrative perspective, it has to be considered at least a little embarrassing that these things can happen.

Unless of course you’re Gary Bettman, who thinks the league has the best officials in sports...

Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, also available on your preferred podcast platform. Next up we have the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night as the Habs will visit the nation’s capital.

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