Thanks, if they ruled he didn't have control then Toews skate touched blue line before control happened.
The Controversy: Panik carries the puck into the Avalanche zone on the left wing as Toews tags up down the middle to get back onside. However, thereís question as to whether Toews gets a skate on the blue paint before Panik touches the puck in the Colorado zone. The play is initially called onside, as the linesman judges Panikís first in-zone touch doesnít come until Toews has reached the blueline and become onside. This happens 20 seconds before the goal is scored.
Why It Counts: This oneís a bit trickier than the Panarin possession call and relies as much on the lack of evidence as anything.
First, an explanation, via Rule 83.3, which pertains to delayed offside. Per the rulebook, if ďany member of the attacking team touches the puck, attempts to gain possession of a loose puck, forces the defending puck carrier further back into his own zone, or who is about to make physical contact with the defending puck carrier, the Linesman shall stop play for the off-side violation.Ē In this instance, thereís no evidence that any of the above happens to warrant an offside call.
Which brings us to the zone entry. As Panik crosses the blueline, the puck leaves his stick. While he may technically have ďpossessionĒ at this point in his progress, heís not physically handling the puck with Toews in an offside position. As Toews comes back to the blueline, the toes of his skates appear to touch the blue paint at the instant Panik makes contact with the puck in the Avalanche zone. By the most technical of definitions, Toews is onside, even if itís a skin-of-the-teeth close call. The linesman judges that Toews is onside, and with no clearcut evidence to the contrary, the goal is allowed to stand.
Itís not as black and white as your typical offside call, and itís no wonder it took more than three minutes for a decision to be reached by the officials, but the decision appeared to be the right one by the letter of the law. Itís microscopically close, though. For the Blackhawks, itís a fortunate break that the linesman didnít blow the play dead at the moment Panik and Toews were entering the zone. As a result, the Avalanche, in a season where nothing seems to be going their way, have arguably the closest call of the campaign go against them.