Earlier today, we talked about the coach’s challenge from last night that would have resulted in the Colorado Avalanche tying their game with the St. Louis Blues with just over two minutes left.
By now, you’ve likely all seen the play numerous time. The NHL even released a video explaining their ruling. The problem is, their ruling overlooked rule 78.7 (Note 1) that states: 'Goals will only be reviewed for a potential "Off-Side" infraction if: a) the puck does not come out of the attacking zone again; or (b) all members of the attacking team do not clear the attacking zone again, between the time of the "Off-Side" play and the time the goal is scored.’
The video shows that Andrighetto clearly brought the puck back onside and started a new zone entry, thus a challenge should not have been allowed to occur.
Now the league is admitting they made a mistake when interpreting their own rule. The statement reads:
“Although there was an off-side, it occurred prior to the puck clearing the zone which nullifies any goal review related to that off-side. The entry in to the zone immediately prior to the goal was on-side, therefore the goal should have counted."
The Blues shouldn’t have been allowed to challenge the play, Mikko Rantanen’s goal should have counted and the teams should have been going to overtime. The error cost the Avs at least one point as far as the letter of the law goes.
The rule is written this way to ensure that teams aren’t reviewing every zone entry and standing by ready to challenge a goal that happens two minutes after a missed offside. The rule makes sense as written, this was just an unfortunate situation that the league probably hadn’t foreseen.
The ironic twist to all this is that the proper call was made, despite the officials making an error when enforcing the rule. Andrighetto was offside and the play should have been blown dead. It wasn’t and that led to the whole mess.
This was an error by both on and off ice officials and one the league is lucky to get out of the way now.
This afternoon, coach Bednar spoke about his view on the whole thing. He makes the point that the rule is worded so that the zone entry was valid but when push comes to shove, common sense dictates that the play should have already been blown dead and there shouldn’t have been a good goal.
(*clip from @MikeChambers on twitter)
If nothing else, this whole saga does two things; it hides from the fact that the Avalanche were horrendous for large chunks of the game last night and it also allows the NHL and their fans to have a better grasp on a rule that was modified just a few months ago.