Blackhawks upset with overturned call in shutout loss to Sharks


Blackhawks upset with overturned call in shutout loss to Sharks

Coach Joel Quenneville was angry.

He wasn’t as visibly angry as he was when the Blackhawks were denied an early goal off a coach’s challenge against the Arizona Coyotes. But when it happened again tonight against the San Jose Sharks, Quenneville had some measured but pointed words in what was a very brief post-game press conference.

“Yeah, it’s gone to a different level. I don’t know the rules anymore or something’s changed,” Quenneville said. “My understanding, I’ve played a lot of hockey… I don’t know. I think everybody has an interpretation of what’s a good goal and what’s a bad goal, but I can’t believe it.”

For the second time in three games the Blackhawks had a goal taken away thanks to a successful opposing coach’s challenge. They came back to win against Arizona, decreasing the angst they felt when Marian Hossa’s goal was disallowed. But there was no consolation on Tuesday night when Brandon Mashinter’s early goal was disallowed off another coach’s challenge, and the Sharks went on to beat the Blackhawks 2-0.

The Blackhawks remain atop the Central Division but the Dallas Stars, overtime winners over the Minnesota Wild, are just three points behind with three games in hand.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Artemi Panarin missed the game due to illness. Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 26 shots in the loss. Martin Jones stopped all 33 shots he faced for the 12th shutout of his career.

Patrick Marleau scored a power-play goal, which proved to be the winner for the Sharks. Joe Thornton added an empty-net goal.

But for the second time in their last three games, the Blackhawks were denied what they thought was a goal that would’ve given them a 1-0 lead. Mashinter’s would-be goal went off his shin pad and past Jones but Sharks coach Pete DeBoer issued a challenge, claiming the Blackhawks interfered with Jones. The officials ruled Dennis Rasmussen did interfere with Jones, erasing the goal.

“It’s definitely frustrating. I thought it was a fair goal but with the rules and the coach’s challenge, it’s one of those things that happens; and it’s been going on quite a bit in the league,” Mashinter said. “I can’t blame Moose [Rasmussen]; the puck was there. Just unfortunate.”

It was the third time this season the Blackhawks have had a goal taken away after an opposing coach’s challenge. Andrew Shaw’s goal was nixed after Toronto coach Mike Babcock challenged on Jan. 15. The Blackhawks went on to win that game.

Hossa, who was angry after his disallowed goal on Thursday, wasn’t happy with this call, either.

[MORE: Goal nixed again: Five Things from Blackhawks-Sharks]

“I mean, the league wanted more goals but it seems like these rules are against it. It seems like it’s costing another goal,” Hossa said. “Last year, definitely that would be a goal, no question asked. It seems like again, same rule and no goal. Definitely frustrated. It could be a different result but it is what it is.”

Crawford agreed.

“I don’t know. It seems like we’re not doing too much to get things called back,” Crawford said. “As a goalie, you’re also trying to step out a little bit but didn’t look like that was much contact. But you have to live with the call.”

The Blackhawks didn’t stop generating traffic around Jones, nor did it stop them from trying to get shots through that traffic. Jones did his part, however, stopping everything and rarely allowing a rebound. The Blackhawks also went 0-for-3 on their power play.

It’s rare when Quenneville voices his displeasure with calls. The last time probably came after Raffi Torres’ hit to Hossa’s head back in 2011. It’s a frustration the Blackhawks were able to overcome in two previous games this season. On Tuesday, they couldn’t.

“That’s a tough one,” Hossa said. “But I thought that was another goal [when] it seems like they look at so many reviews and replays and seems a little touch seems to be a big interference and no goals, so that kind of sucks.”

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: