Bettman: 'We're extraordinarily pleased' with coach's challenge system


Bettman: 'We're extraordinarily pleased' with coach's challenge system

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.”

[SHOP BLACKHAWKS: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

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.”

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.