Coach Joel Quenneville was demonstrative in his angry reaction as the United Center crowd booed lustily. What the Chicago Blackhawks thought was a goal was not after all.
It could’ve been a turning point; it was looking that way, anyway, for a few minutes after it happened. The Blackhawks got past it, however, and by the end of the day they got past the Los Angeles Kings, too.
Jonathan Toews was disallowed one goal but scored later as the Blackhawks came back from a no-goal call to beat the Kings 3-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. It was tough to take at the time, and even tougher after the Kings scored about a minute after the ruling. The Blackhawks regrouped, however, and by the end of the second period they had that one-goal lead again.
Duncan Keith, who scored the game-winner midway through the second period, said the Blackhawks moved on because their choices were limited.
“You just have to,” Keith said. “When you have to do something, you do it. If you let it bother you, then it’s obviously going to affect the way we play. There was nothing we could do so just move on and try to play the right way.”
[WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL: Blackhawks down Kings in Game 1]
Toews thought he scored as he drove toward Jonathan Quick, the puck actually going off defenseman Slava Voynov’s skate and into the net. At first, it looked like the officials were reviewing to make sure it wasn’t off a Blackhawks skate, but that wasn’t the case. Soon after, the goal was disallowed. Here was the NHL’s explanation:
“At 3:22 of the second period in the Kings/Blackhawks game, the referee consulted video review to see if Jonathan Toews' initial shot entered the Los Angeles net. It was determined Toews' initial shot did not enter the net. The referee's original call on the ice was "good goal" but a discussion between the on-ice officials resulted in a "no goal" decision because Toews made incidental contact with Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick before the puck crossed the goal line. This is not a reviewable play therefore the decision on the ice stands -- no goal and no penalty.”
Quenneville’s thoughts on the explanation were succinct – “No comment,” he said at the post-game press conference.
Toews, meanwhile, said the Blackhawks just did what was necessary to get past it.
“I think that's what it was all about was just trying to forget about it, not get too worked up about a call that didn't go our way. To add insult to injury, they came right back to score to tie it up not too long after,” said Toews. “(But) that's where we did a good job of just forgetting about what happened, moving on, focusing on our game and not getting away from them.”
Corey Crawford held things in check on one end of the ice, stopping 16 of the Kings’ 17 second-period shots while the Blackhawks got a goal on their six attempts in that period. After that, it was a fairly even second period, with Toews added the insurance goal on a 3-on-1 breakaway.
Bad breaks happen throughout games, be it regular season or the postseason. The response is what’s ultimately important.
“You kind of let it go,” Bryan Bickell said. “They can’t recall it and call it a goal. We needed to stick between the whistles and keep our head down, keep going. We bounced back, got into penalty trouble in the third, but for our killers to kill it off and for Crow to do what it takes, it was awesome to see.”