Joel Quenneville talked a little longer about that disallowed Brandon Mashinter goal on Thursday than he did following Tuesday’s game.
The Blackhawks coach had a talk with the league about that call, one prompted by a coach’s challenge, which erased an early 1-0 lead in the Blackhawks’ eventual 2-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks. According to Quenneville, the league didn’t agree with that no-goal call.
But for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the league is “extraordinarily pleased” with how the coach’s challenge system is working thus far.
The Blackhawks have had three goals nullified by coach’s challenges this season; two of those have come in their last three games. While it’s been frustrating to them, Bettman said the system has been working relatively well.
“The purpose of the coach’s challenge, particularly on goaltender interference, was consistent with the notion that it was a judgment call,” Bettman said. “It’s really only supposed to be used when there are egregious calls. But in the final analysis it’s a judgment call.”
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Coach’s challenges are done in arenas as opposed to video reviews, which are done out of Toronto. Bettman said that’s likely to continue.
“We’re trying to use it with a judgment call, and our belief, at least for the first season was, it’s best left with the officials who are making the call and officiating the entire game, so that the standard’s consistent throughout the game,” Bettman said. “The standard we’ve told everyone we’re using is, ‘Is there a better call?’ When the official gets to see it again, not in the blink of an eye, not just from the position he’s in but if he can look at it and say, ‘You know what, if I could have seen that at the time, I would have made a better call,’ that’s what it’s supposed to be used for.”
Marian Hossa, whose goal was denied in the Blackhawks’ victory over the Arizona Coyotes last week, has voiced his displeasure of the calls.
“The game is slowing down. Every touch with the goalie seems like it’s a goal disallowed,” Hossa said following Tuesday’s loss. “The league wants to get more goals but seems like the rule’s doing a good job of taking the goals away.”
The coach’s challenge system is in its first season in the NHL, and Bettman said the league will look at it during the offseason. For the most part, however, he’s happy with how it’s going.
“In the final analysis we are extraordinarily pleased with the way it’s working. And when you compare to what other sports have done in their first year, we’ve had virtually no problems with it,” Bettman said. “Is it perfect? Pretty close, but we’re working on it. And over the season we think it’s getting better. We like what we see, but after the season we’ll evaluate it and see if it needs adjusting. But fundamentally, it’s sound.”