Jon Cooper slams officials on inconsistent goalie interference calls

River Hawk
April 30, 2024  (8:01)

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper
Photo credit: NHL

With the playoffs behind him and the team eliminated, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning Jon Cooper went all out on the NHL and its officials in their series-losing game for their inconsistent rulings on goalie interference.

Tampa Bay lost their fifth and final game against the Florida Panthers yesterday 6-1. With the Washington Capitals eliminated the day before, the Lightning became the second team eliminated from this year's playoffs.
"#Panthers beat the #Lightning and take game 5. (FLA wins series 4-1) #NHLPlayoffs2024
Yet, this game did not go without challenge, as Tampa Bay had two goals removed for goalie interference. The head coach for the team, Jon Cooper, slammed NHL officials for poor calls and inconsistency with goalie interference.
"Jon Cooper has a long explanation about the disallowed goals.

People will clip a byte, but you really should listen to the whole thing.

Needless to say he was not happy."
Yet, Cooper turned the most heads mid-rant, when he made a remark comparing the current situation regarding goalie interference to putting skirts on the players.
«Is it net-front battles aren't allowed anymore? The boxing out is like prison rules in the playoffs but it's not prison rules for the goalie? We might as well put skirts on them then, if that's how it's gonna be. They have to battle through stuff too I think we're letting the goalies off the hook.»

Cooper's remarks were unsurprisingly divisive among fans. While some disagreed with the coach on the call, others found this comparison offensive.
Despite the derisive comment, Cooper gained the respect of many others after this conference. Whether or not you agree with the calls in their season-ending game, it is clear that those following the NHL are unhappy with how goalie interference is enforced.
Jon Cooper was understandably upset after a tough loss to the Florida Panthers and perhaps made some inappropriate remarks. However, it is apparent that NHL fans are tired of the lack of consistency and transparency behind these rulings. While it is too late for Tampa Bay to win the Stanley Cup this year, hopefully this rant will help shift the league's officiating in the right direction.