Coach Joel Quenneville was angry.
He wasn’t as visibly angry as he was when the Blackhawks were denied an early goal off a coach’s challenge against the Arizona Coyotes. But when it happened again tonight against the San Jose Sharks, Quenneville had some measured but pointed words in what was a very brief post-game press conference.
“Yeah, it’s gone to a different level. I don’t know the rules anymore or something’s changed,” Quenneville said. “My understanding, I’ve played a lot of hockey… I don’t know. I think everybody has an interpretation of what’s a good goal and what’s a bad goal, but I can’t believe it.”
For the second time in three games the Blackhawks had a goal taken away thanks to a successful opposing coach’s challenge. They came back to win against Arizona, decreasing the angst they felt when Marian Hossa’s goal was disallowed. But there was no consolation on Tuesday night when Brandon Mashinter’s early goal was disallowed off another coach’s challenge, and the Sharks went on to beat the Blackhawks 2-0.
The Blackhawks remain atop the Central Division but the Dallas Stars, overtime winners over the Minnesota Wild, are just three points behind with three games in hand.
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Artemi Panarin missed the game due to illness. Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 26 shots in the loss. Martin Jones stopped all 33 shots he faced for the 12th shutout of his career.
Patrick Marleau scored a power-play goal, which proved to be the winner for the Sharks. Joe Thornton added an empty-net goal.
But for the second time in their last three games, the Blackhawks were denied what they thought was a goal that would’ve given them a 1-0 lead. Mashinter’s would-be goal went off his shin pad and past Jones but Sharks coach Pete DeBoer issued a challenge, claiming the Blackhawks interfered with Jones. The officials ruled Dennis Rasmussen did interfere with Jones, erasing the goal.
“It’s definitely frustrating. I thought it was a fair goal but with the rules and the coach’s challenge, it’s one of those things that happens; and it’s been going on quite a bit in the league,” Mashinter said. “I can’t blame Moose [Rasmussen]; the puck was there. Just unfortunate.”
It was the third time this season the Blackhawks have had a goal taken away after an opposing coach’s challenge. Andrew Shaw’s goal was nixed after Toronto coach Mike Babcock challenged on Jan. 15. The Blackhawks went on to win that game.
Hossa, who was angry after his disallowed goal on Thursday, wasn’t happy with this call, either.
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“I mean, the league wanted more goals but it seems like these rules are against it. It seems like it’s costing another goal,” Hossa said. “Last year, definitely that would be a goal, no question asked. It seems like again, same rule and no goal. Definitely frustrated. It could be a different result but it is what it is.”
“I don’t know. It seems like we’re not doing too much to get things called back,” Crawford said. “As a goalie, you’re also trying to step out a little bit but didn’t look like that was much contact. But you have to live with the call.”
The Blackhawks didn’t stop generating traffic around Jones, nor did it stop them from trying to get shots through that traffic. Jones did his part, however, stopping everything and rarely allowing a rebound. The Blackhawks also went 0-for-3 on their power play.
It’s rare when Quenneville voices his displeasure with calls. The last time probably came after Raffi Torres’ hit to Hossa’s head back in 2011. It’s a frustration the Blackhawks were able to overcome in two previous games this season. On Tuesday, they couldn’t.
“That’s a tough one,” Hossa said. “But I thought that was another goal [when] it seems like they look at so many reviews and replays and seems a little touch seems to be a big interference and no goals, so that kind of sucks.”