Coach’s challenges have become a big part of the postseason.  For once, it’s nice to hear what the officials who made the call have to say about it. 

Chicago’s Andrew Shaw scored the Blackhawks’ go-ahead goal at 15:41 of the third period of Friday’s game against the Blues. St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock challenged the goal, citing goaltender interference on the play. 

Referees Dan O’Rourke and Chris Lee reviewed the play, ultimately confirming the initial call on the ice. The goal would stand. 

“What I felt I’d seen originally was pretty much confirmed on the overhead,” said O’Rourke, to NHL.com. “Shaw, he gets it with his hand, then reaches out after it goes off the side, makes a play on the puck. The contact is after the puck goes in, and it’s also with the help of [Blues defenseman Kevin] Shattenkirk pushing him.”

“That’s how I felt I saw it on the ice, then also what was confirmed by the overall play at full speed, and then also the overhead really helped.”

O’Rourke’s inital call on the ice was a goal. 

Replays confirmed what he’d seen in real-time.  

For all of the criticism of the Coach’s Challenge allowing officials to review – and possibly overturn – their own calls, this is a great example of how it was intended to work. The review isn’t supposed to give a second opinion. It’s designed to give the officials another look at the play, with the assistance of multiple camera angles and slow-motion video.   That additional information gives the officials a second chance, with an assist from technology, to get the call right. 

“As an official, I don’t care how I get to the right call, I just would like to have the right call,” O’Rourke said. “The worst thing that can happen for us is leaving the rink knowing that we [messed] something up and cost somebody a game. We want to come in and try to leave no fingerprints. Come in, get the obvious stuff, and let the players play, let them decide.”

“Some nights they make it easier for us than others.”

 

Read the full article by @AmalieBenjamin over at NHL.com