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Controversial offside goal review changed course of Game 1

PITTSBURGH – Let’s say you’re playing a video game. Let’s say that early on in the game, your character has taken on significant battle damage, or has been put in a precarious position by a foe.

You’re not having fun. You’d rather just begin again, with a fresh set of hearts.

And so you hit the reset button on the console, and start the game over.

The coach’s challenge by the Pittsburgh Penguins[1] in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was their reset button.

The Nashville Predators[2] went from a 1-0 lead on the road in Game 1 to a 3-0 deficit by the end of the first period, thanks to a coach’s challenge issued[3] by the Pittsburgh Penguins bench that wiped away P.K. Subban[4]‘s goal on an offside.

[Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr][5][6][7][8]

It was wiped away when Andy Saucier, the Penguins’ video coach, sent word to the bench that Filip Forsberg[10] may have been offside on the play.

The play went under review, and it was determined that Forsberg “preceded the puck into the attacking zone, nor did he have possession and control before crossing the blue line.”

This mattered. A lot.

“That sucked,” said center Colton Scissons said of the disallowed goal. “And then they took the momentum and scored a few quick ones.”

Coach Peter Laviolette said “the impact of that moment, then the chain of events that happened after that with the penalty kills I think changed the course of the game.”

The replay of the Forsberg play was parsed by the hockey world on Monday night, and many found it inconclusive.

The coach’s challenge for offside is beyond problematic. Yes, there are cameras on the bluelines that have given these reviews a modicum of clarity, but they aren’t at ice level and don’t have enough definition at long distances.

So a play like the Forsberg one is muddled due to perspective.

But beyond that, there’s the philosophical problem: The NHL is constantly trying to figure out ways to increase scoring, and here is a mechanism that corrects reasonable human error to take goals off the board. This isn’t the physical molestation of a goalie to allow a goal – a play that should be reviewed, frankly – but something that happens quickly and innocuously throughout the game on non-scoring plays.

“Well, maybe they’ll have a sandwich named after him, or a sauce or something, I don’t know,” said Sullivan, in the closest he’s come to cracking a joke in the playoffs. “But he does a great job. Andy does a great job for us.

He’s smart. I think he has a really good eye for some of the challenges versus the no challenges. Those timeouts are really important.”

So are those gambles. One paid off for the Penguins in Game 1, controversial as it was.

Greg Wyshynski[14] is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

Contact him at[15] or find him on Twitter.[16] His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon[17] and wherever books are sold.



  1. ^ Pittsburgh Penguins (
  2. ^ Nashville Predators (
  3. ^ thanks to a coach’s challenge issued (
  4. ^ P.K.

    Subban (

  5. ^ Twitter (
  6. ^ Instagram (
  7. ^ Facebook (
  8. ^ Tumblr (
  9. ^ Sidney Crosby (
  10. ^ Filip Forsberg (
  11. ^ including an NHL record 37 minutes (
  12. ^ Jonathan Drouin (
  13. ^ Saucier told the bench to challenge it (
  14. ^ Greg Wyshynski (
  15. ^ (
  16. ^ find him on Twitter. (
  17. ^ available on Amazon (

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