We couldn't even get through the first period of the Western Conference final without some Cale Makar magic, and a little controversy.
With time dwindling in the opening frame and just nine seconds after the Edmonton Oilers tied the game at two, Cale Makar sniped a puck from the top of the right circle to cap off an action packed first period in Game 1. Before a raucous Ball Arena crowd could settle down, Oilers' head coach Jay Woodcroft called the referees over and asked to challenge the goal for offside.
Makar scores quickly after the Oilers tying goal, but Edmonton thinks the play is offside.
Jay Woodcroft is 0-1 in the playoffs, only challenging for goalie interference vs LAK. In the regular season, the Oilers went 5-0 on offside plays under Woodcroft. pic.twitter.com/h63jVzThdP
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) June 1, 2022
A replay on the television broadcast showed what seemed to be a clear offside, with commentators and viewers alike expecting a quick review and a disallowed goal.
Not even sure what to say about this one. Offside or onside? pic.twitter.com/vaBsIC2ob9
— Mr Matthew CFB 🇺🇦 (@MrMatthewCFB) June 1, 2022
But to just about everyone's surprise, the goal stood and Edmonton was assessed a bench minor for a failed challenge.
Makar was ruled to have lost control of the puck as he entered the zone, allowing Valeri Nichushkin to tag up and get back onside before he regained control of the puck on the Oilers side of the blue line.
Have to touch the puck inside the blueline to be offside. Makar looked offside but never touched puck or crossed in to o-zone until teammate cleared. Good goal.
— Mike Johnson (@mike_p_johnson) June 1, 2022
Baffled hockey fans took to Twitter to express their confusion and frustration with the league and the application of the rulebook.
That is the worst one I’ve ever seen. Ever. Makar is in control from in the neutral zone. Just ridiculous.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) June 1, 2022
Nope. Full stop. That’s the worst call I’ve ever seen. It’s Cale Makar. He has control
— Andrew Walker (@AWalksOfficial) June 1, 2022
OK, we have a new leader in the "worst review of a clearly offside play" category. Between Player Safety and replay review, the #NHL really needs to rethink who's in charge of decision-making. Any possible explanation for that Makar goal being onside is purest bulls--t.
— Cam Cole (@rcamcole) June 1, 2022
Final take on the Makar goal.
The way the rule is written? Sure, good goal.
Is the way the rule written absolutely ABSURD? Yes, yes it is.
Just another day as an NHL fan. Please like my sport.
— Tougie24 (@Tougie24) June 1, 2022
To add insult to injury for the Oilers, Nazem Kadri scored on the ensuing power play early in the second period to bring the Avalanche's tally to four.
Oilers goalie Mike Smith was pulled after allowing six goals on 25 shots just before the midway mark of the game. There was more goalie chaos at the other side of the rink as Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper left the game during the second period with an upper-body injury and is doubtful to return, according to the team.
Through two periods, Colorado and Edmonton combined for 11 goals as Game 1 entered the final frame with the Avs leading 7-4. An omen for the rest of the series, we hope.
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