Bizarre Ruling On Offsides Challenge Costs Blue Jackets Against Hurricanes

By Jacob Nitzberg on February 7, 2021 at 5:50 pm
Feb 7, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck (16) celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets will feel cheated after today's game.

They were dealt a huge, controversial blow late in the second period, with the score knotted at 3-3 after the Hurricanes scored the apparent go-ahead goal via Vincent Trocheck. 

John Tortorella wasn't so sure. He challenged the play for offsides, but after the play was reviewed, it was deemed that the Hurricanes were onside and it was a good goal. Due to the Blue Jackets losing the challenge, they then were assessed a two-minute minor penalty for delay of game. They successfully killed off the first 1:15 of the penalty before the second period ended, and were set to kill the final 45 seconds of it when the third period resumed. 

Then, things got weird.

In between periods, the referees went down the tunnel to speak to Tortorella and co. The NHL found another replay angle, and the play was indeed offsides, so the penalty was reversed and the Blue Jackets did not have to kill off the remaining 45 seconds.

However, the goal wasn't taken away. It was still 4-3, Hurricanes, as the two teams entered the final frame. The Hurricanes went on to win by one goal — the one goal that was not wiped off the board after Tortorella's correct challenge.

What They're Saying

  • David Savard: "I don't know what they looked at the first time, but we thought it was offsides the whole time. I don't know what to say. The damage was done. It would have been nice to have a tie game going into the third period."
  • Nick Foligno: "It's a bad look for the NHL to not get it right." 
  • Patrik Laine: "It's the biggest joke I've ever seen."