Failed offside challenge has Blackhawks seething: 'One play cost us the whole game'

/ by Tracey Myers
Presented By Myers

Taking another look, asking for the review. The coaches challenge comes with a different twist this season, one that ups the risk if you choose to implement it. Lose it, and you head to the penalty kill.

“You can see how it turns the game around a little bit,” Ryan Hartman said Thursday night. “They install that to make sure you know for sure.”

The Blackhawks were sure this challenge would turn out in their favor. They were sure that Jason Zucker was offside when the puck banked off Brent Seabrook’s skate and into the Blackhawks’ zone and the Minnesota Wild’s second goal, off a 2-on-1 by Chris Stewart, would be wiped out. But the call stood, the goal counted, the penalty was assessed, the Wild added a power-play goal and the game was ultimately lost.

“One play cost us the whole game,” coach Joel Quenneville said following the Blackhawks' 5-2 loss to the Wild.

The NHL situation room released its explanation on the failed challenge, stating:

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Linesman, NHL Hockey Operations staff determined that the actions of Chicago's Brent Seabrook caused the puck to enter the attacking zone and the call on the ice was upheld - good goal Minnesota Wild. The decision was made in accordance with Rule 83.1 which states, in part, that "If a player legally carries or passes the puck back into his own defending zone while a player of the opposing team is in such defending zone, the off-side shall be ignored and play permitted to continue."


“He didn’t carry it and didn’t have possession, so I disagree with that rule,” Quenneville said. “We brought [the puck] in, but you have to have control, possession of it.”

It seems that Rule 83.2 would apply more to Thursday’s situation:

Deflections / Rebounds – When a defending player propels the puck out of his defending zone and the puck clearly rebounds off a defending player in the neutral zone back into the defending zone, all attacking players are eligible to play the puck. However, any action by an attacking player that causes a deflection/rebound off a defending player in the neutral zone back into the defending zone (i.e. stick check, body check, physical contact), a delayed off-side shall be signaled by the Linesman. A puck that deflects back into the defending zone off an official who is in the neutral zone will be off-side (or delayed off-side, as appropriate).

Seabrook was just frustrated at himself.

“That was tough. A bouncing puck but it’s on me. I have to do a better job of keeping it at the blue line, or at least making a play and not giving up a 2-on-1 at that point,” Seabrook said. “We just got back with a tie game and just a tough one.”

The Blackhawks were sure they got this one right but it was ruled otherwise. It was one call, but it was one costly call.