If Tuesday’s sight was unfamiliar to you, it’s because it actually was a new sight for hockey fans.
The penalty that was issued to the Flyers in the final minutes following a failed offsides challenge was a direct result of the league’s newest rules, one that was put into place to limit coaches from freely challenging any offsides call (only 33% of challenges were overturned in 2016-17).
Challenge an offsides, lose that challenge, and you’ll be putting your team a man down for slowing the game down.
It’s a simple concept, and it gets even simpler when a potentially 50-50 play (more like 60-40 that the player was onside, in this case) occurs on a goal that evens the score with just over a minute to go with your team already a man down.
Why risk it?
History shows that the refs typically aren’t going to overturn these calls. Yet, Dave Hakstol made that decision, and more importantly, made that decision while his team just allowed a tying goal down two men and minutes away from at least getting a point in the finale of a four-game road trip.
Hakstol played with fire and got burnt, and so too did his players as the Predators quickly capitalized after going back on the 5-on-3 as a result of that failed challenge.
Whether or not you agree with the rule (personally, I’m not the biggest fan of it), it’s going to be a part of this game and it has to be respected.
Hakstol opted to go all-in with his risky call, and he lost.
In that situation, you can’t make that decision unless you are 100% certain it’ll go in your favor.
Because of Hakstol’s gaffe, the Flyers — who trailed 3-0 before scoring five consecutive goals — walk out with zero points in Nashville, finish the road trip at 2-2 and go into Saturday’s home opener fresh off a “frustrating” loss as Dale Weise put it following the contest.