Several Montreal Canadiens players
Photo credit: CTV News

Canadiens Accused of Cheating: Did the Team Find a Loophole in the Game Against Tampa Bay?

Published January 3, 2024 at 11:54

The Montreal Canadiens may have scored the most bizarre goal of the year on the last day of the 2023 calendar.

During the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Johnathan Kovacevic shot the puck into an empty net because a stoppage of play wasn't signaled by the referee.

Here are the images to revisit the sequence in question:

This goal, which seemed to come out of nowhere, especially since all the Lightning players, including the goalie, had stopped playing, led to controversy.

After the goal was confirmed by officials upon review, match referees were seriously accused of cheating by several fans, who were not pleased with the result bringing the score to 2-0 in favor of the Canadiens.

One viral post, with over 700,000 views and hundreds of comments, questions the integrity of the officials.

Honestly, I've rarely seen such a ridiculous protest from fans.

They perceive a reprehensible act, analyzing that the referee signaled Samuel Montembeault to put the puck back into play. However, this kind of sequence happens quite regularly in a game.

When there are no opposing players near the net, as was the case in the sequence where no Tampa Bay player was close to the goalie, instead of whistling and wasting time, it's not uncommon for a referee to act this way to keep the game moving.

Such sequences are common, even in minor hockey.

There is absolutely no cheating here. The Lightning players are the only ones at fault, as no whistle had stopped the play. It should also be noted that the DJ also played the music much too early, which added to the confusion among the home team.

The accusations of cheating are baseless and should be dismissed.
January 3   |   275 answers
Canadiens Accused of Cheating: Did the Team Find a Loophole in the Game Against Tampa Bay?

Do you think this goal should have counted?

Yes21979.6 %
No5620.4 %
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