Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol saw enough and decided to throw the red flag.
OK, not the red flag. Challenges in hockey work differently than football, but the second-year coach believed the play was worthy of challenging for offsides.
Before Paul Stastny pushed the Blues to a 1-0 lead at 15:22 of the second period of their 2-0 win over the Flyers on Monday night (see Instant Replay), a play at the blue line by St. Louis defenseman Carl Gunnarson was the reason for the challenge. Gunnarson attempted to bat the puck down before it left the Flyers’ zone and he successfully did, according to the call on the ice. After the keep-in, Stastny scored his 15th goal of the season and Hakstol decided to have the officials take another look at the play.
If there was conclusive evidence the puck left the zone, the play would have been overturned and resulted in a no goal. Video replay on both the broadcast and big screen at the Wells Fargo Center appeared to show the puck leaving the zone and the play being offsides, which would have resulted in no goal. However, the officials have another angle that isn’t available to TV broadcast at the blue line. After the review, the officials said the play was “inconclusive” and the goal stood.
So, was the play offsides?
“It’s a hard one. I’ve gone back and looked on our big screen,” Hakstol said after the game. “In my opinion, the puck is probably out of the zone. I don’t think anybody can probably prove it beyond the doubt by video. By the letter of the law, they probably got that one right. I think anybody who looks at it — there’s a pretty good chance that puck is out.”