By now, everybody has seen yesterday’s blown offsides call in Colorado that resulted in Matt Duchene scoring a second-period goal against the Predators. It was a terrible call. In fact, you can legitimately use the cliché phrase of “that was the first call I’ve ever seen,” because it was.
This morning I sat down with Predators goaltender Chris Mason, who was in net for the Duchene goal, to get his thoughts on the play.
24/7: How caught off guard were you by the Matt Duchene goal yesterday?
Mason: Everybody stopped. Even Duchene stood up and I don’t think he was going to grab [the puck], but he didn’t hear a whistle so he decided to finish the play out. I stood up and went back down, but by that time he had the whole net to shoot at because I was so deep in the net. It was just one of those things, a blown call. I guess lesson learned, you have to play to the whistle.
I guess that’s the human element of officiating?
Yeah, but that’s the thing. I can accept mistakes, but it’s tough when it’s that blatant. It’s not like it was a close call or could’ve gone either way. He was like eight feet offsides. I wouldn’t stop playing if it was a close call. But that one just seemed so obvious to me and to everybody. It’s over now and there’s nothing you can do about it, but hopefully those things even out in the end by the end of the season.
And that’s the second controversial call against you guys, with Gaustad and the faceoff call in Minnesota…
Yeah. We’re banking our bad calls and hopefully they’ll turn around and we’ll get a couple to go our way.
Someone made a joke on Twitter that you could lay down Hal Gill between Duchene and the blue-line and there would still be white ice…
That’s what it felt like. I don’t think there was anybody in the building, including Duchene – he knew he was offside. But they didn’t call it and that’s the way it goes.
Every time something like this happens, not just in hockey but other sports as well, the topic of coaches challenges comes up. Do you feel they are necessary?
I think it would be a great element to have in this game. We have the video as they do in football. The reality is that people make mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you have the ability to challenge it and use your timeout as leverage or something like that, I don’t see why you wouldn’t [have challenges] … I’ve said it before, I definitely think it should be in the game of hockey, no question.
And you see in other sports when it’s not a challenge or replay situation, the referees will huddle up and get the call right…
Yeah, exactly. I don’t know what the protocol is to be honest with you, but if one guy saw the play was blatantly offside and the other one missed it, I don’t see why they can’t huddle around. I understand, too, that they don’t want to step on each other’s toes. When the game is on the line and you look at that one goal, we get points out of that game all things being equal. It sucks but it’s something where there’s nothing we can do about it now.