Did National Hockey League officials miss another offside call, one that resulted in an important game-winning goal?
With 2:12 remaining in Monday night’s back-and-forth Game 3 between the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins, the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron carries the puck into the offensive zone flanked to his right by Game 1 hero Chris Kelly. The game is knotted at three goals apiece. The Bruins maintain possession in the Washington zone until Zdeno Chara blasts a point shot that gets tipped and finds its way past Capitals netminder Braden Holtby for the game-winning goal with 1:53 left in regulation.
But was the goal legit?
It appears both of Kelly’s skates cross the blue line and enter the attacking zone prior to the puck.
A close call, to be sure, but one with weighty consequences.
The questionable non-call comes on the heels of the controversial goal scored by Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere in Game 1 of his team’s series versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“There’s no other way to explain it but a missed call,” NHL senior executive vice-president of hockey operations Colin Campbell told The Canadian Press of the Briere play, a much more blatant offside than the Kelly play. “We’re as upset as Pittsburgh almost. It’s a mistake.”
While last week’s Briere “goal,” his team’s first of the postseason, kick-started a momentum shift – Philly stormed back from a three-goal deficit in that game and haven’t looked back since, leading the marquee series 3-0 – Chara’s marker essentially ended the game in Boston’s favour.
“There’s always fallout,” Campbell told CP after the first blown offside. “The referees and the linesmen are judged on the work they do as far as how they advance in doing games. If mistakes are made, no matter how difficult they are, there’s got to be decisions made on who advances.”
The Kelly offside is about as difficult as these calls get – the NESN commentators failed to point it out during the rush – but the linesman is in position, so it will be interesting to see if Campbell and Co. review the play.
Take a look:
What do you think? Was Kelly offside?