Before challenging a goal, perhaps some NHL head coaches should challenge themselves to pick up the rulebook. For the second time in the past week, a goal has been challenged incorrectly. At least this time, the coach fessed up to his error.
The Vegas Golden Knights broke a 3-3 tie with 6:07 remaining in the third, on a goal by Mattias Janmark. Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen opted to challenge the play for a missed offside.
He wasn’t wrong. Not exactly.
Video review confirmed the call on the ice. Janmark was onside prior to his goal.
The Golden Knights, though, went offside on the play immediately prior. Vegas center Jake Leschyshyn received a pass just over the Columbus blueline as he was skating back to center. The on-ice officials missed that offside, but the puck did immediately clear the zone.
Vegas regrouped and re-entered the attacking zone – legally, this time – before scoring the go-ahead goal.
Coach’s Challenges only apply to the most recent zone entry prior to goal, making the missed offside ineligible for a challenge. From Rule 38.9:
Goals will only be subject to review for a potential “Off-Side” infraction if the puck does not come out of the attacking zone again between the time of the “Off-Side” infraction and the time the goal is scored.
Larsen discussed the challenge after the game, including his decision to overrule Blue Jackets video coach Danny Singleton, who advised not to challenge the play.
“That’s on me 100 percent,” Larsen said. “It’s offside. They should’ve blown it, but as soon as that play exits, it’s a whole new play. So, you see the linesman and he’s got his whistle to his mouth. He doesn’t blow it, which he should’ve, but that’s a blown call and the puck goes back in. Danny (Singleton) had it right and I was frustrated. I couldn’t help myself. That’s my fault.”
Vegas head coach Pete DeBoer acknowledged the offside play.
“It was clearly offside, but as soon as that wasn’t called and we cleared the zone with the puck, it came out over the blue, and that resets everything,” DeBoer said. “When we saw it, we were pretty confident we were going to win that.”
The Blue Jackets were penalized for delay of game. They killed off the penalty but were not able to score the equalizer as Vegas held on for the 4-3 win.
Referees for the game were Kyle Rehman and Michael Markovic. Linesmen were Caleb Apperson and Travis Gawryletz.