PITTSBURGH — The goal that wasn’t is still a major topic of conversation at the Stanley Cup Final.
Less than 24 hours after P.K. Subban‘s series-opening marker was wiped out due to a successful offside challenge, Subban and the Preds met with the assembled media.
To nobody’s surprise, the call was front and center.
“It’s tough,” Subban said during Tuesday’s media availability. “I watched the replay on the Jumbotron and I thought for sure it was going to be a good goal.”
The goal was wiped out after Pens head coach Mike Sullivan successfully challenged that Filip Forsberg was offside prior to Subban scoring. Forsberg said that, at the time of the play, he didn’t even think of the possibility of being offside and, upon seeing the replay, remained unconvinced he was.
“When you look at the video, it could easily go either way,” Forsberg said. “Kind of inconclusive in my opinion.”
The debate over conclusive evidence — or, lack thereof — has raged in the aftermath. And the NHL hasn’t done much to explain the call, other than this brief disclaimed on the league’s situation room blog:
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Linesmen, NHL Hockey Operations staff determined that Forsberg preceded the puck into the attacking zone, nor did he have possession and control before crossing the blue line.
One member of the Preds that wouldn’t wade into the offside debate was head coach Peter Laviolette. After his players openly questioned the call, Laviolette took to the podium on Tuesday and pretty much slammed it shut.
“Right now I’m focused on coaching,” he said. “The rules are the rules right now. I think, generally speaking, it works. Everybody gets a second look at something. So I think it works.”