(Photo: FoxNews.Com–AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
No no-goal could stop the Blackhawks from taking advantage of home ice Sunday. Despite one small scoring snafu they managed a 3-1 win over the L.A. Kings.
Captain Jonathan Toews had a chance to score the game-winning goal at 3:22 in the second period, and to everyone with a view and access to the NHL rulebook, it seemed he did when he powered to the net, and shot the puck that would ultimately go off of Kings defenseman Slaya Voynov‘s skate and in, just as Toews dove over goalie Jonathan Quick.
“At 3:22 of the second period in the Los Angeles Kings-Chicago Blackhawks game, the referee consulted video review to see if Jonathan Toews’ initial shot entered the Los Angeles net. It was determined Toews’ initial shot did not enter the net. The referee’s original call on the ice was “good goal” but a discussion between the on-ice officials resulted in a “no goal” decision because Toews made incidental contact with Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick before the puck crossed the goal line. This is not a reviewable play therefore the decision on the ice stands–no goal and no penalty.”
Oddly, no one witnessed the “no goal” decision on the ice.
The issue with recalling the goal based on interference with the goalkeeper is this particular clause, “The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgment of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review.”
Another issue is that, were Toews responsible for interference, he should have been called for it and penalized–unless it were no fault of his own, which did appear to be the case, and would negate his responsibility for the interference.
“I think the way the standard is, the way the rules are, I think you’ve got to–goalies need protection,” Coach Joel Quenneville said. “I understand that.”
The other issue mentioned through social media was that the puck was knocked in off of a skate (Rule 78). However, it was off a defending player’s skate (Voynov), which is fair game. The puck can deflect off of any part of the defending team.
Regardless, the hotly contested, controversial call after review reversed what would give the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead early in the second.
“Obviously, the puck was in, the guys were celebrating. I’m not sure too much interference. I haven’t seen the play,” Toews said after the game. “Obviously, it happened pretty fast.
“I think when it comes down to it, it was disappointing because of, you know, how the play was called on the ice, the fact it was non‑reviewable.
“I think some of those go against us. We were hoping that one was going to go for us in a way. Like I said, a tough situation, but it’s over now.”
The team didn’t shake it off quite so easily during the game.
There was a drastic change in momentum that could have easily been prevented with a better explanation from the officials.
Instead, the Kings were able to capitalize on a disappointed Hawks team, outshooting them 17-6 the rest of the second period.
Corey Crawford was a second period savior, only allowing Toffoli’s goal.
Prior to the second period blunders, this game was all Chicago. Shots were 7-5 in the Blackhawks’ favor, and they scored the first goal.
They tied 31-31 in faceoffs. They led in blocked shots 25-15.
Crawford made 25 saves to Quick’s 17.
The Hawks are leading the playoff teams in penalty kills by more than 7.5 percent, killing 44 of 48 Power Plays so far.
“It’s going to be a work in progress, a challenge game in, game out,” Quenneville said. “They got three nice players that all complement one another. They’re dangerous. Every time they touch the puck, every time they’re on the ice, you got to be aware.”
Besides, the stakes are getting higher:
.@NHLBlackhawks Alright, here’s the wager; loser has to change twitter picture and name to opposing logo and hashtag. Deal?
— LA Kings (@LAKings) May 18, 2014
.@LAKings That’s so 2013. How about loser donates signed captain’s jersey to winning team’s charity?
@NHLBlackhawks add loser sends a pizza to the winner and it’s a deal.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) May 18, 2014
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) May 18, 2014
The Blackhawks now lead the best of seven series 1-0. The remaining games are scheduled (tentatively) as follows:
Game 2 Wed, May 21 7:00 p.m. CT United Center NBCSN
Game 3 Sat, May 24 7:00 p.m. CT Staples Center NBC
Game 4 Mon, May 26 8:00 p.m. CT Staples Center NBCSN
Game 5 Wed, May 28 7:00 p.m. CT United Center NBCSN (if necessary)
Game 6 Fri, May 30 8:00 p.m. CT Staples Center NBCSN (if necessary)
Game 7 Sun, June 1 7:00 p.m. CT United Center NBCSN (if necessary)
They’ll put on quite a show, Because it’s the Cup.