Upon further review, the clearest statement Sunday at the
Overcoming a bad official's call of a negated goal that preceded an even worse explanation from the league, the Blackhawks pooled their resolve and played a responsible two-way team game they will need to return to the
"You have to commend our players for not changing their approach in big games," Coach
Embarrassing officiating put the Blackhawks in position to persevere.
At the 3-minute, 22-second mark of the second period with the Blackhawks leading 1-0,
When the goal was disallowed minutes later due to incidental contact with the goalie, Blackhawks fans went berserk and Quenneville sent NBC censors to the edge of their seats with a classic outburst lip-readers loved.
Quenneville showed more restraint after the game when asked about an explanation.
"I didn't get one right away, but a couple seconds later it was ruled incidental contact," Quenneville said.
Did you buy that, Coach Q?
"No comment," Quenneville replied in a tone that said everything.
Come to think of it, the
"The referee consulted video review to see if Jonathan Toews' initial shot entered the Los Angeles net," the statement read. "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 … before the puck crossed the goal line. This is not a reviewable play therefore the decision on the ice stands."
But the decision on the ice — a good goal — didn't stand. And according to NHL Rule 69.1, goalie interference or incidental contact "shall be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgment of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review."
Even if Toews did interfere with Quick — as it appeared — officials never made the call in real time and such a play isn't subject to the review that transpired. The officials later explained they determined incidental contact while huddling without consulting a replay — nobody told Quenneville — but why did an official put on headphones as if he was checking with Toronto?
Even the league's statement says the "referee consulted video review." If the goal wasn't waved off immediately, it never should have been.
Predictably, 73 seconds later, Tyler Toffoli tied the score for the Kings as the Blackhawks mourned their lost momentum.
"Maybe for a split second we [drifted],"
The letdown didn't last because goalie
"I should prepare more for these interviews so I have something original and more creative to say," Toews said when asked about Crawford. "He just seems to get better as the pressure mounts. It's an example the rest of us can follow."
That the Blackhawks did, recovering to resemble the best team remaining. The offensive contributions from defensemen
Everybody raised their game a necessary level. Everybody played their roles, such as when
Everybody knew better than to let one lousy call define Game 1.
"It's just the way our team is," Saad said. "We have a lot of character guys."
On that, the evidence was irrefutable.