The San Jose Sharks advanced to the NHL’s Western Conference finals with a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 on Wednesday night at the SAP Center.
With 12:11 left in the second period, the Avs’ Colin Wilson took a pass from Nathan MacKinnon and slipped it past San Jose goaltender Martin Jones to tie the game at 2-2.
But Sharks video coach Dan Darrow thought Avs winger Gabriel Landeskog was offside, so they issued a challenge.
After the referees reviewed it, they agreed.
The goal was overturned and the score remained 2-1 San Jose.
The Sharks added a goal by Joonas Donskoi later in the period to go up 3-1, and they held on to win 3-2 and advance.
After reviewing the replays, the officials determined that Landeskog, who was going back to the bench after a changeover, was still in the offensive zone when MacKinnon touched the puck.
Officials said Landeskog “did not legally tag up at the blue line prior to the puck entering the offensive zone.”
According to NHL.com, “The decision was made in accordance to Rule 83.3 (i), ‘All players of the offending team clear the zone at the same instant (skate contact with the blue line) permitting the attacking players to re-enter the attacking zone.'”
— Alex (@Penguins23) May 9, 2019
But some questioned whether Landeskog was really offside. This slow-motion replay showed his skate appeared to be on the blue line at the time the puck crossed it.
Here’s the call. The call on the ice was a goal. They reversed it and said he Gabe was offsides. Here’s proof he wasn’t. pic.twitter.com/zrTvKv1bvI
— Kyle Keefe (@kylekeefetv) May 9, 2019
“It’s a clumsy mistake, you know? ‘Get off the ice.’ If I could have done something different on that play, I would have jumped the boards a lot quicker,” Landeskog said, reported ESPN.
“Hopefully, the linesmen got it right,” he said. “I haven’t been in that position at all, to have to make that call in a Game 7. It’s a tough job. It’s a tough call to make. Hopefully, they got it right. I’ll take the blame for that. Ultimately, it’s my skates on the ice. But there was a lot more to the game than that.”
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar was surprised at such a ticky-tack call, especially in Game 7 of a playoff series.
“I would say it’s pretty rare,” Bednar said, according to The Denver Post. “In a Game 7, even more so. That player has nothing to do with the play that’s going on. It seems like such a minute detail, whether he’s onside or offside. So it’s strange, you know? It’s strange. And it’s something we could have done without tonight, no question.”
Bottom, there was still plenty of hockey left to play and Colorado had an opportunity to overcome that.
“No matter what that call is, we have to keep playing,” Avs defenseman Ian Cole said, reported Mile High Sports. “We have to learn that when things don’t go our way, we have to take momentum back as quickly as possible.”
Offside reviews are stupid and the NHL should have never instituted them. These are goals that used to count and weren’t even controversial prior to bringing in video review. Now we’re searching for skate blades that are barely offside.
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) May 9, 2019
The ridiculousness of the circumstances of this call — whether it was right or wrong — is another example of why the NHL might want to review its offside review rule.
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