NHL on TNT rules analyst Don Koharski drops the most perfect 'holy sh-t' ever on live TV at the end of the Avs-Oilers game
Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers produced at least 10 (probably 20) "holy sh-t" moments. It was fitting, then, that one of the voices on the NHL on TNT broadcast literally dropped a real live "holy sh-t" at the conclusion of the overtime thriller.
In a stunning turn of events, it was not Paul Bissonnette, who has become the hockey version of Charles Barkley on the TNT desk. Nor was it play-by-play man Kenny Albert, or either of his fellow commentators Keith Jones or Darren Pang. It was actually a dude who appears quite infrequently on the broadcast - rules analyst Don Koharski.
After 60 minutes of wild, high-octane hockey, the Oilers and Avs were tied at 5-5 and headed to OT. Then, less than 90 seconds into the extra period, Avs winger Artturi Lehkonen ended it by deflecting the puck out of mid-air off Edmonton goalie Mike Smith and then cleaning up the juicy rebound, ending the Oilers season in the process. Smith immediately gestured to the referees to point out that Lehkonen may have deflected the puck with a high stick, which is where Koharski comes in.
While explaining the potential infraction, Jones pointed out that the rules on a high stick are different for a high stick that leads to a goal and a high stick that keeps the puck in play. When it leads to a goal, it's only an infraction if the stick is above the crossbar of the net when it contacts the puck. When it knocks the puck back in play, it's a high stick of the contact comes above the player's shoulder. Koharski agreed with Jones, then while breaking down the play said he believed the contact did come above the shoulder, which caused him to revert to his NHL refereeing days by saying "holy sh-t" on live TV:
This is just a hockey guy, through and through. But also an extremely Canadian guy. The mouth of a sailor, but quick to say "sorrey!" right after, and "I meant to say holy shucks" after that. These refs and former refs can chirp just as good if not better than some players in the NHL, but unfortunately you have to go PG-13 when you're on live TV. Koharski is still learning that, as you can see.
That said, Koharski's reaction was exactly how everyone at home watching was feeling. That sure looked like it was above the shoulder to us, which would have meant the goal would be overturned and the Oilers season would have still been alive. Alas, the refs stuck with the call on the ice, which was probably the correct move. It's too close to call and far too close to potentially alter the outcome of an entire series. "Holy sh-t," indeed.