Around halfway through the second period of Monday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, Mathieu Perreault buried a rebound past Pekka Rinne and appeared to put Winnipeg up 5-3 on the Nashville Predators.
Enter Lawrence Feloney.
The Predators’ video coach intervened, and after a fairly quick review, the goal was ruled offside.
YO WINNIPEG. You can't get away with it like Colorado did that one time. NICE TRY! pic.twitter.com/EYkXvAQFTM
— FOX Sports Tennessee (@PredsOnFSTN) March 14, 2017
That overturned goal proved huge for the Predators, as they rallied back in the third period to tie the game, and won it 5-4 in overtime. Filip Forsberg, who had a goal and an assist, was grateful for Feloney’s work.
Feloney might not be publicly recognized very often, but his role behind the scenes with the Predators has been invaluable. He has been the Predators’ video coach for four seasons, and has been on the organization’s video team for seven seasons. After the NHL instituted a coach’s challenge for offside plays leading to goals or goalie interference prior to the 2015-16 season, he has been key in guiding head coach Peter Laviolette on when to challenge plays.
This was the second key goal Feloney has gotten overturned in recent weeks. On February 25th against the Washington Capitals, Alexander Ovechkin appeared to cut a Predators lead to 3-2 in the third period. However, Feloney nudged Laviolette to challenge it, and the goal was waved off by the smallest of margins.
— Cutler Klein (@CutlerKlein) February 26, 2017
Laviolette had nothing but good things to say about Feloney and his crew.
“They do a great job back there,” he said. “We get TVs, but it’s nice to have them in the ear. They’re the ones that get the first look at it, play the replays back and forth, and they’ve got to get the information to us quick. Our video guys do an excellent job with that.”
In addition to coach’s challenge duties, Feloney also does game film with players, among other things. Predators forward James Neal, who had the game-winning goal in overtime, commended the amount of work Feloney puts into his job, and Roman Josi called him “the hardest-working guy in the whole organization.”
During the game, Feloney’s impact is definitely felt. Neal said that the overturned goal was just what the doctor ordered.
“It’s kind of a kick in the butt to get going,” he said. “There were a few breakdowns we shouldn’t have had, and you’re seeing the game slip away from you. When it gets called back, you’re right there and right in it. It gives us a boost.”
With every team in the NHL looking to get an edge, especially with new technology, having a watchful eye like Feloney every night certainly helps the Predators outsmart the competition.
And, as Neal said, Feloney is part of the family.
“He does an unbelievable job, he runs our videos and I can’t say enough about him,” he said. “He’s a huge part of our team.”
The Predators hit the road and look to extend their winning streak to three games when they take on the Washington Capitals this Thursday. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 PM central.