The Montreal Canadiens were in a hotly contested Game 2 on Saturday night until they weren't, and when both the organization itself and their fans look back on this one they are going to have a hard time getting away from the fact that the Canadiens largely did this to themselves.
The Canadiens were down by a goal when the Maple Leafs found themselves with a man advantage, and after a little over a minute into the power play it was Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin who extended the lead to two goals with his first career playoff goal. The goal, a shot from the point, appeared to be perfectly legit but for whatever reason the Canadiens decided that it would be a good idea to challenge the goal for goaltender interference. I have to be honest, there was absolutely nothing on the replay that would have indicated the sequence that led up to the goal was worthy of a challenge, a move that put the Canadiens in an even bigger hole than they had been with just a two goal deficit.
Now my initial thoughts were to lay the blame at the feet of Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme as this appears to have been one of the worst coach's challenges of the entire season, but there is now at least some reason to suspect that the challenge did not in fact come from the coach as weird as that may sound. Sean McIndoe is reporting that the decision to challenge the play came down from up high with Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin actually being the man responsible for what was objectively a horrible challenge.
Funnily enough both members of the Habs and Leafs media were in agreement on this one, with both sides left scratching their heads as to why the Canadiens would have issued what was obviously going to be a failed challenge, digging an even deeper hole than they had already dug for themselves in Game 2.
The Leafs would score on the ensuing powerplay they received, eventually cruising to a 5 - 1 victory over the Habs. No doubt Ducharme himself is going to be furious as most fans will no doubt lay the blame for this challenge squarely at his feet, he is after all the head coach and they do call it a coach's challenge for a reason.