There was some controversy at the start of the Sharks’ 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday. After New York tied the game up in the first frame on a mind-boggling between-the-legs goal by Brett Howden, San Jose head coach Peter DeBoer challenged the goal, claiming Chris Kreider was offside. Kreider had the secondary assist on Howden's tally.
After a long – and I mean long – review process, the officials finally determined that the call on the ice stood, and Kreider was not offside. DeBoer was noticeably upset with the ruling, and the NHL’s situation room didn’t offer much of an explanation for the call.
It’s yet another example of how tricky and subjective offside calls can be.
“They said they couldn’t see [Kreider’s] foot in the air from their vantage point,” DeBoer told the media in New York after the game. “I don’t know. We don’t challenge that unless we’re sure. It’s a difference of opinion, I guess.”
With how long the officials took to examine the play, they should be getting it right most of the time.
Players and coaches alike have shown their disdain for the way the offsides ruling stemming from the coaches challenge. Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid went so far as to say the league should do away with review altogether after an offside calll kept his team from tying up a game against the Nashville Predators last season. The Oilers ended up losing the game, 2-1.
The offside call has already played a part in a couple NHL games just a week into the season, too. On Wednesday, Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty's goal was disallowed with just over six minutes remaining in the third period. Vegas would have trailed the Washington Capitals 4-3, but instead ended up losing 5-2.
Sure, the Sharks had the potential to score more goals in Thursday’s tilt so that Howden's tally didn't carry so much importance. But given how close these calls can be, it’s a little difficult to say that for sure. Joe Pavelski was asked after the 3-2 overtime loss to the Rangers if the call changed the momentum of the game.
“Well, if we get the call, it probably does,” the San Jose captain said, stifling a chuckle.