NHL’s ‘spin’ on how they burned the Rangers


Alain Vigneault called it.

The Rangers coach was incensed Thursday night when his team gave up the game-tying goal on what he thought was clearly goaltender interference, eventually leading to a 4-3 loss to the Hurricanes in Carolina.

But Vigneault also knew that the league would defend the call, after he challenged the play when Elias Lindholm’s elbow lifted goalie Antti Raanta’s mask, allowing for Sebastian Aho’s long point shot to go in and tie the game, 3-3, at 9:04 of the third period.

A league spokesman responded to The Post by email on Friday morning, saying it was incidental contact outside of the crease. The explanation, which was asked to be paraphrased, went on to say that Lindholm was not in the crease, he was moving laterally, and did not extend any body part or clip Raanta as he was going by.

“You ask the league, but they’re going to spin it any way to look alright,” Vigneault said after the game. “That’s the way it always is.”

The explanation Vigneault got from the officiating crew of Francois St. Laurent and Gord Dwyer was the contact was “involuntary,” and though Raanta’s feet were in the crease, his head was outside of the crease. Although that is a new explanation for many, former Rangers goalie Marty Biron also defended the call.

“When a goalie is going to be at the top of his crease and the screen is close but outside the crease, both players have a right to the ice,” Biron texted The Post on Friday. “I think it’s the goalie’s responsibility to keep a gap between he and the screen. A goalie will always tend to go a bit forward when going to the butterfly [stance], and without that gap you will get contact, even with a standing-still screen.

“If the player comes in the crease, then it would be no goal. But like this one, he stayed outside the blue.”

It was a tough one for Vigneault to accept, and though he knew the league (and others) would defend the call, he’s likely going to agree to disagree.

“Of all the times I’ve asked for a coach’s challenge,” Vigneault said, “this one I’m sure I’m 100 percent right.”



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