Blackhawks

Question for commenters: So, what becomes of Chicago’s disallowed goal?

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The Chicago Blackhawks thought they had it in the bag.

With less than two minutes remaining in the third period of a 1-1 tie in Game 7, Niklas Hjalmarsson scored what appeared to be the go-ahead and potential game-winning goal on Wednesday night — only it wasn’t meant to be.

Referee Stephen Walkom whistled Kyle Quincey and Brandon Saad for matching roughing minors right before Hjalmarsson scored his goal.

The officials huddled, skated to the timekeeper and announced they were waving off the goal while over 21,000 fans at the United Center continued to celebrate.

Those celebrations quickly turned to disbelief, and boos (and, litter on the ice).

It was one of the most questionable, controversial and stunning calls in recent playoff memory.

But in the end, it didn’t matter.

Brent Seabrook won it for Chicago just 3:35 into overtime, and the only person happier than Seabrook might’ve been Walkom, who was, for all intents and purposes, let off the hook.

Because let’s be honest here.

Controversial calls — or, non-calls — get etched in our memory only when they have change/decide the outcome of a game:

Brett Hull’s “No Goal” in the 1999 Stanley Cup against Buffalo

Wayne Gretzky avoiding a high-sticking call on Doug Gilmour in the ’93 Conference finals

The Islanders’ offside goal in Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup finals against Philly

Those are unforgettable.

I’m not sure this is.

To be honest, I have no idea what the legacy/infamy of this call will be.

Heck, I don’t even know what the ramifications will be.

Walkom might be dropped from the officiating rotation for the Conference finals, a relatively light punishment given how disastrous this could’ve been. The call won’t, most likely, affect his career the way the Gilmour-Gretzky high stick defined Kerry Fraser’s.

At the same time, it feels like this call has to somehow be remembered, because it was just so rare and bizarre and unfathomable.

If you had to pick an absolute worse-case scenario for a referee, it would probably be disallowing a good goal late in Game 7, costing the home team in one of the NHL’s loudest rinks.

(And if you’re wondering if Walkom got it at all right, consider this Tweet from Fraser.)

So here’s your chance, PHT commenters.

We know you have ideas, go share them.

Update: Just for clarity’s sake, the call was considered controversial because 1) Walkom stopped an ongoing play to address a scrum that wasn’t affecting the action or anywhere near the puck.

And 2) the case could be made Walkom should’ve called just a penalty on Quincey, not coincidentals to Quincey and Saad. (“I was shocked when the linesman told me I was going to the box,” Saad said afterward).

If that was the case, then the play wouldn’t have been blown dead because Chicago had possession.

Therrien refutes report that Price is likely done for the season

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Contrary to a report by La Presse newspaper, Montreal head coach Michel Therrien says that Canadiens goalie Carey Price could still play again this season.

“We know what’s going on with Carey,” Therrien told reporters today. “It takes more time, obviously, than we were expecting. Like I said, he’s working extremely hard and he’s put in a lot of hours to make sure that he’s going to make that comeback. The fact that he’s working extremely hard is not to make sure that he’s going to look good this summer on the beach; he wants to come back and play for the Montreal Canadiens.”

That being said, Price does not appear close to a return. He’s yet to practice with teammates. He’s yet to even skate in goalie gear.

The Habs have 27 games left to get back into a playoff spot. They close out the regular season on April 9, less than two months from today.

Related: With Price possibly done for the season, Scrivens has Dubnyk-like opportunity

With trade deadline approaching, Canucks announce Edler out 6 weeks, Sutter 6-8 weeks

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The Vancouver Canucks announced today that they’ll be without defenseman Alex Edler (fractured fibula) for six weeks and center Brandon Sutter (broken jaw that required surgery) for six to eight weeks.

So basically those two are gone for the remainder of regular season, save for possibly a few games at the tail end of the schedule.

For a bubble team that doesn’t boast a ton of depth, the injuries are significant. Edler leads the Canucks in ice time, averaging almost 25 minutes per game. Sutter, arguably their best defensive center, already missed a big chunk of games earlier in the season following sports-hernia surgery.

But GM Jim Benning still isn’t giving up on the playoffs. Yesterday, he went on Vancouver radio and suggested the Canucks could actually be buyers at the trade deadline.

Benning only has a couple of weeks to decide what to do with pending unrestricted free agents defenseman Dan Hamhuis and winger Radim Vrbata. The trade deadline is Feb. 29.

The Canucks, currently just two points back of Nashville for the final wild-card spot, have a pair of winnable games coming up. They host Toronto Saturday and Minnesota Monday.

Related: Preds entering key (and tough) stretch before trade deadline

Jets activate Pavelec from IR, send Hellebuyck back to minors

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Winnipeg’s goalie of the future is off to continue his development in the AHL.

On Friday, the Jets activated veteran netminder Ondrej Pavelec from injured reserve and, in a subsequent move, sent rookie netminder Connor Hellebuyck back to their affiliate in Manitoba.

Hellebuyck, 22, arrived in Winnipeg with great fanfare, having starred for Team USA at the 2015 Worlds while being named an AHL All-Star as well.

This was his first-ever stint with the Jets, and it went OK — Hellebuyck posted an 13-11-1 record, .918 save percentage and 2.34 GAA — but he did struggle of late, getting hooked in two of his last three outings.

Now, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Pavelec.

His numbers prior to getting hurt weren’t any better than Hellebuyck’s — .906 save percentage, 2.82 GAA — and there will be considerable rust to knock off, given he’s been out since late November with a knee issue.

There’s also the long-term implication.

Pavelec, a lightning rod for criticism over the last few seasons, has one year left on his five-year, $19.5 million extension, meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in July of ’17.

It could be his last season in Winnipeg (assuming he’s not bought out of the final year of his deal), which makes one wonder what GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has in store.

It’s also worth noting there’s a third goalie in this equation: Michael Hutchinson, who’s a pending RFA.

Kuznetsov passed concussion test, expected to play Saturday

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, from Russia, celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Washington. The Capitals won 5-3. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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Feel free to breath a sigh of relief, Capitals fans — Evgeny Kuznetsov is okay.

“During the end of the third period, Evgeny underwent and passed all tests pertaining to the league’s concussion protocol evaluation,” the Caps said today in a statement. “We expect him to take the morning skate tomorrow and play against the Stars later that night.”

Kuznetsov left last night’s game versus the Wild in the third period after appearing to take the butt-end of Mikael Granlund’s stick to the face.

Kuznetsov leads the Caps with 54 points.