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Why Shore's first period goal was upheld and why it is the wrong call

Why Shore's first period goal was upheld and why it is the wrong call

The Capitals found themselves down early against the Dallas Stars after a controversial goal by Dallas forward Devin Shore was upheld after a coach’s challenge.

Less than two minutes into the game, a long-range shot from Stephen Johns was deflected on net forcing a spectacular toe save from Braden Holtby. The save, however, forced him to slide to the far left. Stars forward Patrick Sharp took the puck for a wrap around to the right. Holtby tried to recover, but could not as Shore was in the crease blocking his way. Shore had been pushed into the crease by Brooks Orpik and was eventually able to knock the puck into the empty net after Sharp’s initial attempt did not go in.

You can see the play in the video above.

The goal was immediately challenged by Barry Trotz, but was upheld after the review.

RELATED: Trotz talks Burakovsky's potential return for Cali trip

The NHL released an explanation via the Situation Room blog:

At 1:48 of the first period in the Stars/Capitals game, Washington requested a Coach's Challenge to review whether Devin Shore interfered with Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby prior to Dallas' goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that the actions of the Washington player caused Shore to contact Holtby before the puck crossed the goal line. The decision was made in accordance with Note 2 of Rule 78.7 (ii) which states, in part, that the goal should be allowed because "the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper."

Orpik certainly pushed Shore into the crease. There’s no argument there. The problem is that Shore made no effort to get out of the crease once he was in. When a player is pushed into the crease, that doesn’t give him the right to simply set up shop. It’s incumbent on him to make a reasonable effort to get out.

When watching the play, Shore has an opportunity to attempt to get out of the crease, but remains in place. At best, he was unintentionally blocking Holtby’s path to the puck. At worst, he was taking advantage of Orpik’s push to restrict Holtby from reaching the far side of the net.

Either way, it certainly looked like goalie interference, even with the push from Orpik.

MORE CAPITALS: Trotz shows Caps video of Shattenkirk's fight with Williams

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Braden Holtby — the skater — is a sight to behold

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CSNMA

Braden Holtby — the skater — is a sight to behold

Braden Holtby is an elusive guy.

The 2015-16 Vezina Trophy winner might be large in stature, but keeps to himself. When you do see him, he's typically covered in layers of goalie pads or briefly chatting with the media following a game.

So imagine the surprise to see Holtby take the ice at Kettler IcePlex well before training camp begins with zero goalie pads on.

That's what took place on Monday morning. As several players hit the ice for some unofficial workout sessions, there was the 6-2 Saskatchewan native strolling onto the ice, with a regular stick, regular skates, regular gloves and Andre Burakovsky's helmet.

RELATED: 2017-18 CAPITALS SEASON PREVIEW SERIES

Frankly, it was a bit odd to see Holtby skate up and down the ice.

Maybe it's because we're used to seeing him in the crouch position. or maybe it's because we actually see his entire figure, not just a pile of leather pads.

But even goalies need to work on non-goalie skills. The more familiar you are with position players, the better you will be to stop them from scoring.

But man, seeing Holtby skate like a forward sure does take some time to get used to. 

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS

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The 25 most important players for the Caps: No. 20 Taylor Chorney

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The 25 most important players for the Caps: No. 20 Taylor Chorney

Every player on an NHL team plays a role.

Some play bigger roles than others.

In the coming weeks, Tarik El-Bashir and JJ Regan will rank the 25 most important players in the Caps’ organization, from least to most important, weighing factors such as past production, future potential and intangibles. 

Today’s player: No. 20 Taylor Chorney.

RELATED: 2017-18 CAPITALS SEASON PREVIEW SERIES

One of the more interesting storylines during training camp is going to be the battle along the blue line and where everyone, particularly a veteran like Chorney, fits into the plan as the Caps skew a bit younger.

The top pair is easy to figure out; it’ll be Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

After that, it gets a little more interesting.

John Carlson will be on the second pair, perhaps with Aaron Ness.

If that's how things shake out, it would make sense to have Brooks Orpik anchor the third pair, especially if the No. 6 spot goes to a rookie since they'd surely benefit from the steady hand of a soon-to-be 37-year-old.

But will that spot go to a youngster like Christian Djoos, Madison Bowey or someone else? 

Or will it go to Chorney, a 30-year-old who's appeared in 141 NHL games spread over eight seasons for four clubs?

The Caps anticipate that Djoos and Bowey are closer to being NHL-ready than their other defenseman prospects.

Djoos lit up the AHL last season to the tune of 58 points in 66 games and the team needs to replace some offense. Bowey, meanwhile, has the look of a promising two-way defenseman.

But here’s the drawback—and where Chorney, in my opinion, fits into the equation.

Neither Djoos nor Bowey have done it yet. And until they do, no one can be 100-percent sure they’re completely ready to handle the everyday duties that the NHL demands. 

Chorney, to that end, has a significant advantage in experience, at a position where it matters a lot. He appeared in 18 games last season and a career-high 55 games the year before, also with the Caps. 

The bottom line: I suspect Chorney, who is entering the final year of his contract, will open camp penciled in as the team’s No. 6/7.

I also expect that he'll play a decent amount this season, maybe more than last year but perhaps less than 2015-16. I could even see him in the opening night lineup. Eventually, though, the Caps will want to see Djoos, Bowey or another youngster squeeze their way past Chorney and into the lineup full-time.        

Check out the full list of the Caps most important players as it comes out here and check out previous player profiles below.

— No. 25 Aaron Ness
— No. 24 Chandler Stephenson
— No. 23 Riley Barber
— No. 22 Pheonix Copley
No. 21 Devante Smith-Pelly