It didn’t take long for the NHL’s new blueline cameras to come in handy, with the first Coach’s Challenge in Stanley Cup Playoffs history happening on the first day of the 2016 playoffs.
Tampa Bay appeared to score the go-ahead goal in the third period of Wednesday night’s game against Detroit when Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman fired a blast past Jimmy Howard.
Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill consulted with his staff before challenging the play. Linesmen Bryan Pancich and Scott Driscoll headed to the penalty box and huddled around the tablet to consult the video evidence, including that from the league’s brand new blueline cameras.
After review, referee Wes McCauley delivered the news. The play was offside. No goal.
According to Rule 83:
Players of the attacking team must not precede the puck into the attacking zone.
A player is off-side when both skates are completely over the leading edge of the blue line involved in the play.
A player is on-side when either of his skates are in contact with, or on his own side of the line, at the instant the puck completely crosses the leading edge of the blue line regardless of the position of his stick.
Jonathan Drouin’s skate was in the air, making this a relatively straightforward call. His trailing skate would’ve needed to remain on the ice – in contact with the line – in order for him to remain onside.
After 266 Coach’s Challenges in the regular season, we’ve had our first in the playoffs. It likely won’t be long until our next. At least, when it comes to the offside plays, the NHL’s new cameras will be ready.