The Colorado Avalanche lost the game, and a point in the standings, because of a blown call by the officials.
The Colorado Avalanche tied the game against the St. Louis Blues last night. The goal got disallowed because Blues coach Mike Yeo issued a Coach’s Challenge. At the time, we were all just amazed that the Coach’s Challenge could work out that way because the Blues had already called a challenge.
However, now it turns out the goal should have been allowed to stand, and the Blues should have been assessed a minor penalty per the new Coach’s Challenge rules.
Here’s video of the play in question:
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Truthfully, Sven Andrighetto was offside initially. However, the officials on the ice failed to blow the play dead. Andrighetto pulled the puck back out of the zone, no Avs players were in the zone, so when Andrighetto entered the zone again, it was onsides. It was from that onsides play that Mikko Rantanen scored one of the prettiest goals of the season for the Colorado Avalanche.
But it’s a goal that was disallowed. Per the Coach’s Challenge rule, the challenge can only come into play if the entry play is offsides, meaning in this case the one that eventually led to Rantanen’s goal. That wasn’t the case. The linesman simply blew making a call earlier when Andrighetto was offsides, and that should have gone the way of all the other blown calls officials make every game.
Here’s the NHL:’s official statement on the blown ruling:
The NHL issued the following statement on the Coach’s Challenge in last night’s St. Louis vs. Colorado game at 17:26 of the third period that resulted in an incorrect decision of no goal:
"“St. Louis requested a Coach’s Challenge to determine whether Sven Andrighetto of Colorado was off-side prior to the Avalanche goal. The video review decision determined the play was off-side but that determination was based on a play prior to the puck clearing the zone.“Per Rule 78. 7 (Note 1) Coach’s Challenge: ‘Goals will only be reviewed for a potential “Off-Side” infraction if: a) the puck does not come out of the attacking zone again; or (b) all members of the attacking team do not clear the attacking zone again, between the time of the “Off-Side” play and the time the goal is scored.“Although there was an off-side, it occurred prior to the puck clearing the zone which nullifies any goal review related to that off-side. The entry in to the zone immediately prior to the goal was on-side, therefore the goal should have counted.”"
The thing is, there were just 2:36 left in the game. The Colorado Avalanche had tied the game. Calling for a Coach’s Challenge and losing should have put the Blues into the penalty box for two minutes. Maybe the Avalanche could have won the game in regulation, maybe not. However, it’s a good bet they could have at least taken the game to overtime and collected one point.
Now, fans and sports writers alike are pointing out that the Avalanche should have played better up until that point to not put themselves in such a position. That’s not the point. I’m not saying the Avs deserved to win or even tie that game. I’m saying they did tie that game. That’s not opinion — that’s fact.
It’s just the official results don’t show that.
Here’s an example of the officials deciding a game. This is not correct. There needs to be more accountability than a passively worded statement that “mistakes were made.”
It’s highly unlikely Colorado really will be fighting for a playoff spot this season. But if they get close, there’s always going to be that “what if” factor.
What’s more, points also determine a team’s place in the standings. Realistically, the Colorado Avalanche are more likely to be in the Rasmus Dahlin sweepstakes than the playoff race. What if the Draft Lottery determines the losingest team doesn’t get the first-overall again? What if the team that wins the Draft Lottery is in the position the Avalanche should have been because of that disallowed goal? These are high stakes because this is a franchise-making draft next year.
What also gets lost in all of this is Mikko Rantanen. That would have been his second goal on the season and would have made him the points leader on the Avs. Sven Andrighetto should have gotten an assist, putting him at seven points for the season and tied for second place. I daresay Nikita Zadorov would have received his third point on the season with a secondary assist.
These goals and points totals are used in contract negotiations and for bonuses. One point may not make that big of a difference overall. However, the NHL needs to develop a system of accountability for these mistakes. Because if there isn’t, they’re going to keep adding up.
And then it can have consequences like the Colorado Avalanche not being in the correct place in the standings or players not earning their deserved bonuses.