Blackhawks score at will after offside challenge goes against Avalanche


A failed challenge call opened the floodgates as the Chicago Blackhawks scored three goals in 34 seconds and five times in the third period as they beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-3.

Midway through the final period Colorado was sitting pretty up 3-1. That’s when Jonathan Toews deflected a shot in for his 19th of the season to cut the Avalanche lead to one. But Colorado head coach Jared Bednar wanted to challenge that Chicago was offside on its zone entry.

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The freeze frame above would make you believe the play was offside, but the challenge went against the Avs.

The NHL Situation Rule deemed it wasn’t conclusive that Toews was able to tag up when the puck was on Richard Panik’s stick as he entered the zone.

Review was not conclusive in determining whether Toews tagged up at the instant the puck was on Richard Panik’s stick when Chicago entered the attacking zone prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the On-Ice Official(s) will be instructed to confirm their original call.”

Therefore the original call stands – good goal Chicago Blackhawks. 

It easily could have just been a very brief delayed offside if the puck was off Panik’s stick, allowing the Blackhawks captain to get back to the blue line.

“I guess I don’t necessarily fully understand it, but it’s the tag-up rule,” said Bednar after the game via Altitude Radio Network. “They were saying it wasn’t on his stick. You know, that it what it is. For me, it’s 3-2, nine-and-a-half minutes to go, that gives them a little life. It’s what we do after that that bothers me. That call, for me, is the least of what bugs me out of the way that game finished.”

That was the just the beginning of things going against Colorado Sunday night. Panik would tie the game 17 seconds later, followed by Artemi Panarin giving Chicago the lead for good 17 seconds after that. Toews would add his 20th a little over two minutes later and Marcus Kruger added the final dagger with an empty netter with two seconds left.

The NHL general manager’s said earlier this month at their meetings that they’re cool with the current offside rules. But all it will take is for some team in the playoffs to get screwed by an iffy call before minds begin to change. Heck, let’s just go NHL ’94 style and turn offside off, yeah?

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy


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