Predators’ Mason backs coach’s challenges

NASHVILLE – The subplot to Monday’s wild and wacky 6-5 win for the Colorado Avalanche was a blown offside call that resulted in a goal for Matt Duchene.

Early in the second period, P.A. Parenteau lofted the puck down ice to Duchene, who had gotten behind the Nashville defense. As Duchene reached the blue-line, the puck hit Predators defenseman Scott Hannan in the neutral zone, resulting in the puck slowing down and entering the zone well after Duchene.

“Everybody stopped,” said Chris Mason, who was in net for the Predators at the time. “Even Duchene stood up and I don’t think he was going to grab [the puck], but he didn’t hear a whistle so he decided to finish the play out. I stood up and went back down, but by that time he had the whole net to shoot at because I was so deep in the net.”

“I can accept mistakes, but it’s tough when it’s that blatant. It’s not like it was a close call or could’ve gone either way. He was like eight feet offsides.”

Hannan visibly stopped on the ice, waiting for the play to be blown dead. On the video you can see him immediately arguing with the official that the offside call was missed.

“I haven’t seen a call like that before. We saw the replay. There wasn’t much we could do,” he said. “You don’t see that too often. I’ve played for a while and you just – like I said, we all saw it and it is what it is.”

By NHL rules, Duchene’s goal was not reviewable due to it being an offside call. The NHL did admit it was the wrong call, as the whole world could see.

Naturally, when blown calls like this happen, the topic of a coach’s challenge comes into play. The NFL is the only one of the four major sports that has a challenge system instituted, despite the fact that all four of them employ the use if instant replay in one way or another.

“I think it would be a great element to have in this game,” Mason said of a coach’s challenge. “We have the video as they do in football. The reality is that people make mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you have the ability to challenge it and use your timeout as leverage or something like that, I don’t see why you wouldn’t [have challenges] … I’ve said it before, I definitely think it should be in the game of hockey.”

Hannan agreed that adding the ability to challenge questionable calls could be beneficial.

“At least if the referees all got together and talked about it, then I think we’re comfortable with sometimes overruling a call,” he said. “I think it’s definitely something that needs to be discussed within the league and the PA to figure it out. Everybody wants to get the right call, that’s the most important thing.”

“Four sets of eyes are sometimes better than the one.”

The Predators have no time to be frustrated by the blown call as they host the Detroit Red Wings tonight in a rematch of last spring’s first-round playoff series.

“You don’t want to see what happened yesterday, but at the same time you can’t dwell on it,” Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. “We’ve got a game tonight and it’s a four-point game.”