A day later and at least a point shorter, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol addressed the controversial and unsuccessful offsides challenge that fueled Nashville’s late rally and doomed his own team’s spirited effort Tuesday night in the Predators’ 6-5 victory.
“The big thing is you have to get it right,’’ Hakstol said. “And I didn’t get it right on Tuesday night. So I spent a good amount of time yesterday evaluating it. You can never assure that mistakes aren’t going to happen, but you can sure do everything in your power to make sure you come up with the right result in that situation.’’
Hakstol’s unsuccessful challenge that an offsides call was missed on Scott Hartnell’s tying goal with 1 minute, 17 seconds left in regulation had to be made over a span of approximately 20 seconds, off a 30-inch screen on the lower part of the bench that during a game can accumulate spit, lint, or even an occasional wad of gum.
It is unclear if, although unlikely that, Hakstol or his video coach, Adam Patterson, saw the camera angle that confirmed the play was offsides. It is more than likely that they reacted to the original replay available in which Nashville’s Filip Forsberg appeared not to have cleared the zone in time.
The ensuing penalty from the failed challenge – a new rule in the NHL this season – meant the Flyers had to continue to play as they had the previous 1:24 — two men down. Even if the challenge had succeeded, though, Nashville – which had pulled its goalie to create a 6-on-3 advantage to tie the game – would have finished the game with its goalie pulled — a two-man advantage.
A perfect hockey storm.
Hakstol took the blame afterward, but it seems apparent that he based his challenge on Patterson’s assessment. “We looked at it closely,’’ Hakstol said. “The call on the ice was the correct call. I’m not talking about that specific situation. You have to continue to evaluate the process you go through. Not just in that situation.’’
Pressed later about it, Hakstol said, “It’s a challenging situation. It’s a decision that has to be made. Sometimes with limited information in a short period of time. With a significant impact. That’s what it is. Deal with it. That’s what we have to do.
“You have to factor into your pre-thought, your preparations so to speak. Because when you get to that situation, you have to have your checks that you go through. That’s why I spent time yesterday on the process. Because we got the wrong result. We got the answer wrong. How do we improve those odds? Without missing an opportunity? Because you can’t just miss an opportunity by saying, ‘Well, I’m not going to do that.’ ’’