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Photo Credit: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid’s response to the offside review was calm and captainy

After the Oilers got shafted out of at least a point in last night’s game against the Predators, Connor McDavid spoke to Tom Gazzola following the loss. To no one’s surprise, the captain’s response was measured and thoughtful, which is more than I can say about myself. 

Before we get started with what Connor said, I want to say that I understand why the goal was called back. I get that it was called back because the review followed the rule as it is written. I get that. Last night, we had all kinds of fun boys talking about why the goal was called back as if we don’t all understand it. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to Connor.

When asked about the way the game ended, Connor nailed it:

“We battle that hard, find a way to tie up the game, and the guy’s an arm-hair offside and they call it back.”

As it turns out, those couple of inches really matter! *rimshot, gets pelted by fruit*

“It’s obviously hard to agree with the rule because obviously, it didn’t go our way.”

Last night’s game had the makings of a great finish and when Letestu’s goal got called back it was like the NHL wound up and delivered a straight shot right to the nuts of Oilers fans everywhere. Not only was the officiating questionable at best, calling back that goal was absurd for a league that is incessantly looking for more offence. For a league with so many shades of grey when it comes to the rulebook, following it to the tee on goals like this seems odd.

As expected, Connor agreed.

“Ultimately, I feel as though they should just take the rule out.”

I think the worst part about it is that the “offside” really had nothing to do with the goal. There was no advantage gained, and the fact that having your skate off the ice was enough to call it back is absurd. Again, this is coming from a league that has talked about things like increasing the net size to get goal scoring up.

“The number of calls that are a millimetre offside and 45 seconds before the play, it doesn’t have very much of an effect on the goal itself.”

Preach, Connor!

“I think the fans want to see offence. If that’s going to hold back from offence, I think it’s obviously frustrating.”

It’s frustrating but not surprising at the same time. With the way this season has gone, I don’t know why we’re surprised that the Oilers lost off of a goal that was scored off of Larsson’s face followed by a phantom offside call.

“That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”

I know, Connor, but it’s so annoying to lose this way that I’m having a hard time letting go. That rule is ridiculous and the NHL should be embarrassed about it, don’t you think?

“It’s very hard to sit here and question the rule right now because it’s obviously a little sensitive.”

You’re damned right it’s sensitive. I know you have to try to be diplomatic, but I don’t. That rule, even though I understand it, doesn’t make a lick of sense and it’s ridiculous. I hate everyone. Connor, how are you staying so calm?

“If we were on the other side, we’d obviously love the rule.”

Yeah… You’re right — I know you’re right — but I don’t have to be happy about it. You’re a better man than I am. You were calm with a camera in your face, I was throwing things like some kind of blogging Hulk. It’s garbage and we both know it.

“It’s something that I hope they take out.”

That would just make too much sense.

THE WRAP…

At the end of the day, the NHL made the right call, but that doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it. The thing I can’t wrap my head around is that the NHL wants to be as precise as possible on these reviews but don’t seem to have any problem with how inconsistent the officials are on the ice. If you’re allowed to review an offside that happened nearly a minute before the goal, why shouldn’t we be allowed to review other non-calls?

In the end, the NHL is correct in that they have to have systems in place to make sure they get calls right, but they need to put more thought into how that happens. While I do like that the team that makes the challenge gets a penalty if it goes wrong, they have to keep working on it. Maybe that means they institute some kind of, for lack of a better term, a statute of limitations on how long a play can go on and still be reviewable. Am I wrong? As much as it’s important to get calls right, people pay to see goals and the NHL keeps finding new ways of getting rid of them.

  • McRaj

    It’s the refs fault
    It’s Lowes fault
    It’s Katz fault
    It’s Coach Ts fault
    It’s Mac Ts fault
    It’s the NHLs fault
    It’s PCs fault
    It’s the bottom 6 players fault
    It’s Russ’s fault
    It’s the assistant coaches fault
    BUT ITS NEVER THE FAULT OF THE STAR PLAYERS 🙂

      • McRaj

        Except when the star players leave or get traded. Then we change our tune on them. If Mclellan wants to send a message. Sit lucic next game for the awful penalty. Next time McDavid makes a major mistake which leads to a goal against. Sit him. That will send shock waves through the room.

        • That's My Point

          If Kesler does what Lucic did, there IS NO PENALTY. That’s the point. Lucic isn’t doing anything wrong; he’s getting the calls against him because of the NHL. Anybody else does what Lucic did against an Oiler and there WILL NEVER BE A PENALTY called. This is the PROBLEM.

        • Release the Hounds

          Awful penalty? Are you serious? The way the games get called nowdays, players don’t even know what a friggin penalty any more! Was a stick to the nuts not worthy of a call but Lucic’s penalty was? Was the hook by Subban on #97 not worthy of a call, but Lucic’s penalty was?

        • corky

          But what if you bought tickets to go to only one game and found out McDavid was scratched? Pissed off would be an understatement. Yes to accountabilty but no to insanity.

    • CRONENBERG

      Oilers have 4 regulation goals in the last 6 games and Connor had a point on 3 of them. If you think he’s a part of the problem, you’re not watching the games. Back to my band vs hockey comparison… you could put Eddie Van Halen with three chumps that are horrendous at singing, playing bass and drumming, and that band is going to SUCK!

    • BasementDweller

      Yeah, you’re right, it’s totally Connor’s fault. I mean, he’s only top 10 in league scoring on a diarrhea team.

      He totally could have gotten Jujhar to stay onside for that goal…. good call.

    • Melanie97

      McD also said “It’s very hard to sit here and question the rule right now because it’s obviously a little sensitive.” They talk to the players immediately after the game when they’re still pissed off.

  • Klef abs

    Oh man still so much whining from BM and some posters. It was offside. The same rule that has been around for decades. It’s a good rule and it will never be taken out. Now if your whole point is the video review of offside? Then maybe they should remove it. There are subjective calls all the time and they usually even out. But BM saying they were screwed out of at least a point on that game? Jesus…

    • Gravis82

      Blue line was put in so refs didn’t have to watch for advantage as they do in soccer, cause that would be impossible. Gives the ref a location to focus on. If a human can’t say that there is a clear advantage in real time with an eyeball, then practically speaking there was none. This is why the review is bad, because it splits hairs on something within an area of space and time that is inconcequential, and that has no effect on the outcome of what happened in the zone. Similar to skate in Crease by 1mm. The only place they should be looking at 1mm (and less) distances are at the goal line in the net.