File photo.

The Tampa Bay Lightning ended 2023 with a great win over the Montreal Canadiens Sunday night at Amalie Arena.  But that’s not what Bolts fans are talking about days later.  A controversial goal scored by Montreal is still being debated on social media.

The weird incident happened about halfway through the second period. The Tampa Bay Lightning were down by 1 when the Bolts’ Taylor Raddysh took a slapshot, hoping to tie the game.  The Montreal goaltender was able to trap the puck between his legs.  At that point, normally the referee blows the whistle, the music and light show kicks in and they go to a TV commercial break.  Normally. Players stopped playing. The music came on. The light show began. And the Bolts goaltender left his net to take a break while the TV coverage went to ads.

Here was the problem. Even though you can clearly see the referee bring his whistle to his lips, he never actually blew it to stop play.  As most of the players began heading to the bench for a break, one of the Canadiens, Johnathan Kovacevic, realized the play was still active. Kovacevid shot the puck into a wide open net.  It was an impressive shot given that he was on the opposite end of the rink.  But for Lightning players and fans, the play seemed to be over. Fans were FURIOUS when the officials checked the replay and confirmed the whistle never blew.  Should the goal have counted?  Watch the video and let me know what you think.

The NHL says, yes, the goal should have counted. What about you? Tweet your thoughts to @GenoRadio and I’ll include them below. Fortunately the Lightning went on to win anyway, but even today, the strange goal is being questioned.

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