Less than 24 hours after The Call That Befuddled The Blackhawks, we are no closer to understanding why Chris Stewart's pivotal goal was allowed to stand Thursday night.
In case you missed it -- and there's a good chance you did with the Cubs game lasting nearly five hours -- Stewart snapped a 1-1 tie with 9:28 remaining in a game that Minnesota would go on to win 5-2. He scored seconds after a sliding Brent Seabrook kicked the puck into the Wild's offensive zone while Jason Zucker was already over the blue line.
Scouting reportBlackhawks vs. Nashville Predators at United Center, 7:30 p.m. Saturday
TV: WGN Radio: WGN 720-AM
The skinny: Of the first six games on the Blackhawks' schedule, this matchup with the Predators had to be circled three or four times on every player's calendar. Nashville, which wiped out the Hawks last April in a four-game sweep, dropped its first two games this season but bounced back with victories over Pittsburgh and Dallas. … Filip Forsberg is coming off back-to-back 30-goal campaigns and he leads Nashville with 4 goals. … Pekka Rinne (.902 save percentage) is off to a slow start, although he did stop 30 of 31 shots in Thursday's win over the Stars. … The Hawks are 10-4-0 vs. Nashville over the past three regular seasons, including 4-1-0 in 2016-17.
Next: St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center, 7 p.m. Wednesday
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville challenged that Zucker was offsides, and many believed he would be proven correct. On NBCSC's telecast, color commentator Steve Konroyd said: "That is certainly going to be offside" and later added "it's pretty black and white."
Only, somehow, it wasn't.
The officials ruled the goal would stand because of rule 83.1, which states "if a player carries or passes the puck into his defending zone while" the opponent is already in the D-zone, play can continue. In the postgame news conference, an infuriated Quenneville wondered how a player can carry or pass the puck while sliding on his backside.
What's crazy is that we have experienced coaches, announcers and former players who know the offsides rules but are often shellshocked by the referees' decisions. A great example is what happened on the postgame show when Jamal Mayers and Adam Burish, who combined to play in more than 1,300 NHL games, at first agreed the officials got it right.
Yet, after hearing Quenneville's take, Burish flipped his position and said: "Seabrook made no attempt to possess the puck or to carry it back into his zone. So in that sense, I can agree with Joel Quenneville that possession is different than kicking a puck or being on your back … and having it bump off you and go into the zone."
Before that, Burish made the point that -- just like in the NFL -- the refs should explain why a call stands or is reversed. Don't just come out and say, "The goal stands."
"People paying for a ticket here to watch this hockey game or watching on TV at home deserve to be explained what happened; not having to go on their phones, search the internet," Burish said. "At least explain it to us."
Burish later added: "You have a microphone. Use it."
Exactly. Because when the refs stay silent, we're left to wonder if they even understand all the rules.
Put 'em up:
The offsides fiasco that dominated the storyline after the Hawks' loss to the Wild turned John Hayden's second-period brawl with Marcus Foligno into a footnote. Foligno sent Brent Seabrook head over heels into the Hawks bench in the first period, and Hayden made him pay for it when he landed a wicked right hook to the face.
"It was great," Ryan Hartman said. "Coming into the locker room (after the first period), you kind of saw it in his eyes that he knew he was going to go out there and try to change the momentum a little bit. He did a great job. He hung in there and got a really good shot in at the end."
Put me in coach:
As long as the Blackhawks carry eight defensemen, it will be a difficult juggling act for coach Joel Quenneville. Cody Franson has played in just one of five games, and Jordan Oesterle has yet to suit up.
Quenneville was asked if Oesterle would benefit by going to Rockford, but he would have to clear waivers.
"It's a pretty large stretch without getting some ice, especially the beginning of the season," Quenneville said. "You want to get everybody involved at some point and we still like the player. But we understand that what you're saying makes a lot of sense and we're thinking like you are a little bit."
Jonathan Toews extended his regular-season points streak to seven games thanks to his late third-period goal against Minnesota. Toews has 3 goals and 3 assists in five games this season. … The Hawks assigned defenseman Luc Sunggerud to Rockford on Friday. Snuggerud suffered an injury during the preseason.
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