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updated: 10/13/2017 3:40 PM

Why NHL officials should explain rulings on challenge calls

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  • After his challenge was dismissed, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville tries to call over an official during the third period of the team's game against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in Chicago.

    After his challenge was dismissed, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville tries to call over an official during the third period of the team's game against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in Chicago.
    Associated Press

  • Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook goes over the boards after getting checked by Minnesota's Marcus Foligno during the first period Thursday in Chicago.

    Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook goes over the boards after getting checked by Minnesota's Marcus Foligno during the first period Thursday in Chicago.
    Associated Press

  • Minnesota Wild's Marcus Foligno, left, and Chicago Blackhawks' John Hayden squared off in the second period of Thursday's game in Chicago.

    Minnesota Wild's Marcus Foligno, left, and Chicago Blackhawks' John Hayden squared off in the second period of Thursday's game in Chicago.
    Associated Press

 
 

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.

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."

Slap shots:

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.

• Twitter: @johndietzdh

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