You can bet that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock are no doubt going to be getting some flack over this particular coach's challenge, although at the end of the day they are just doing their jobs and trying to win hockey games.
On Saturday night the Toronto Maple Leafs were visiting the Bell Center as they were set to face off against the Montreal Canadiens for the final game of the 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season for both organizations. It was a game where nothing but pride was on the line and as a result there were some significant line up changes on both sides of the ice.
The Maple Leafs sat 4 players on Saturday night, all of them defensemen, as they were looking to get some of their guys some extra rest ahead of a very tough first round playoff series against the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens on the other hand had a very interesting line up change when they revealed earlier in the day that former first round draft pick Ryan Poehling would be making his National Hockey League debut in the final game of the season.
What a debut it was for Poehling on top of it, with the young man making his presence felt after just a few shifts in the National Hokey League. The young rookie forward and his Habs found themselves in a 2 goal hole early on in the contest and it was the rookie who would come up big with the heroics. Poehling would score his first career NHL goal in his first career NHL game on just his fourth shift in his very short NHL career thus far. You could tell it was a magical moment for the young man who has been waiting for his chance to play at the NHL level, but it was one the Leafs tried to take away.
In spite of the fact that it was an entirely meaningless game for the Leafs their coaching staff immediately challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Poehling had the perfect expression on his face when he realized what was going on, flashing the Leafs what looked to be a giant and very genuine smile. Perhaps Poehling knew that the goal would be allowed because after only a short challenge the officials determined it was a good goal.