Don Cherry has let goalie Jonathan Bernier off the hook.
The Coach's Corner commentator said Saturday that the Toronto Maple Leafs netminder let in a game-winning goal Thursday that was primarily the fault of the new hybrid icing rule implemented this season.
"It wasn't a Bernier gaffe, Cherry said and explained that hybrid icing causes confusion and could lead to costly goals. "Bernier would never let this in. This is hybrid icing."
Both Bernier and the new hybrid icing rule received criticism for the goal that stood as the 3-2 game-winner for Carolina.The play in question involved Carolina Hurricanes forward Ron Hainsey dumping the puck into the Toronto end. In the race for posession, Canes forward Radek Dvorak beat Leafs defencemen Morgan Rielly and Cody Franson to the faceoff circles. With hybrid icing in effect, the linesman waived off an icing call. Bernier chose not to play the puck, which deflected off the boards, trickled past his right skate and into the net.
"Think about, folks, if that's the Stanley Cup-winner. The same thing as I said about Brett Hull," Cherry said, referring to the controversial goal that won the Dallas Stars the 1999 Stanley Cup.
"Nobody knows what they're doing [with hybrid icing]," he added. "It's absolute nonsense."
The hybrid icing rule was instituted this season when the NHL Players' Association voted to approve it after the test run during exhibition games. But Cherry has an alternative solution.
"If it's automatic icing, it's no problem."
Cherry has called for clarification on icing rules in the past, focusing on the potential for icing calls to lead to dangerous plays.
"They've got to get it straightened out before somebody gets killed in this game," he said last spring.
Watch the video above for the full Coach's Corner segment.