By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
If you want to sit here and tell me that the offside rule was enforced correctly when it came to Brad Marchand's would-be goal in the second period of a 3-1 loss to the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon, I legitimately can't fight you. It's the rule. It is what it is, and no, Patrice Bergeron was not officially off the ice when the puck entered the Detroit zone. Again, it's the rule.
The league said as much in their official explanation (these are always a hoot) of their decision.
"Video review determined Brad Marchand re-entered the offensive zone prior to Patrice Bergeron’s skate completely leaving the ice as he proceeded into the players’ bench," the statement read.
When we boil the challenge, review, and nullification of an otherwise perfectly legal hockey goal down to its core, however, I can't help but wonder what the hell the point of this rule truly is?
Let's be clear about a few things: Nothing Bergeron did allowed the Bruins to gain a competitive advantage. Nothing Bergeron did prevented the Wings from playing defense. It also went unnoticed in real-time, meaning that any advantage gained was missed by the naked eye. (Seems somewhat important, really.)
But the challenge from the Red Wings essentially insinuated that Boston's goal should not count because of Bergeron's actions. That's exactly what they're saying, actually.
And it's nonsense of the highest order.
Forget about the enforcement of the rule. We've been here before in regards to its nonsensical nature that's been exposed as a loophole to bail out shoddy defensive efforts. Just look at the process. Upon Detroit's challenge, the game was delayed for almost five full minutes while the officials huddled around an iPad and reviewed the play in slow motion.
"Listen, I think it would be good for you guys to write a nice story about how great that is for the NHL and NBC," B's coach Bruce Cassidy said sarcastically after the loss. "How long did we wait to decide? How long? Someone must've [tracked it]...
"It takes that long to find out?"
If a review takes more 60 seconds (I almost want to say 30 seconds), you're no longer looking for confirmation that it was a good goal, but instead looking for reasons to take it away. And that is not within the spirit of the rule. In fact, the only reason this challenge was even implemented was to prevent things like this from happening.
But honestly, it's the absurd delay that should really burn you up. Because it's utterly ridiculous.
We seriously sat there in silence (and confusion because who the hell knows how these things are going to go anymore) and wasted all that time to do a Forensic Files investigation about a guy, who had nothing to do with the goal, being offside.
“Why not make a decision in 40 seconds?" Bruins defenseman Torey Krug asked the Globe's Matt Porter. "If it’s not clear in 40 seconds, then it’s inconclusive. Don’t stare at it for 10 minutes.”
Just please remember crap like this next time they wanna shrink goalie pads and enlarge nets.
Here are some other thoughts and notes from a 3-1 loss to the Red Wings...
B's netminder Jaroslav Halak a late scratch from scheduled start
The Bruins threw a last-minute curveball at your fantasy lineup on Sunday, as B's backup netminder Jaroslav Halak was a late scratch from his scheduled start at Little Caesars Arena.
The Bruins first announced that Halak's absence was due to an illness and that he was available if the Bruins needed him in net for whatever reason. But speaking with reporters after the loss, Cassidy said that Halak is dealing with an upper-body injury, and has been for a little bit now, and that Halak was not going to be available to play at "70 or 80 percent."
"[Halak] has an upper-body injury that we assumed was fine," Cassidy offered after the loss. "He played with it Wednesday, practiced. It flared up today and with a 12:30 game, it didn't allow a lot of time to prepare so Tuukka had to go in."
Halak's absence forced Rask in the crease for the second straight game, and Rask stopped 17-of-19 in the losing effort. This was the 32-year-old Rask's first time having to play on zero days rest this season, and he is now 7-11-2 with a .913 save percentage in 20 career starts when asked to step up in such situations.
In other words, with another weekend back-to-back on deck next Saturday and Sunday, the Bruins better hope that Halak heals up closer to 100 percent between now and then.
Danton Heinen returns to Boston lineup
After missing the previous four games (one missed to injury and then three straight healthy scratches), Bruins winger Danton Heinen returned to the lineup and finished with three shots in 12:02 of ice-time. And though he did not factor in on the scoresheet, the Bruins outshot the Red Wings 8-1 in over 11 five-on-five minutes with No. 43 on the ice.
Still, I find myself beginning to wonder if Heinen is still with the B's come the close of business on Feb. 24.
It just feels like Heinen is beginning to lose his grip on a full-time role with the B's -- especially with Anders Bjork and Karson Kuhlman coming to life in recent weeks -- and the Bruins are so tight against the cap that it's almost going to have be money-in, money-out if they're going to make a serious addition to the roster between now and the trade deadline. Heinen, by the way, is under contract through next season at a modest $2.8 million, and will remain under team control at the end of that contract as an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent, giving him value to any team. Including the Bruins.
Something to ponder.
Trying to explain the unexplainable
I have no idea why the Bruins, who have now dropped five straight head-to-heads with Detroit, suck against the Red Wings.
It makes no sense to me.
But maybe trying to understand is my first problem. It's like the Bruins going like a billion years without beating the Avalanche in Boston or the Black and Gold's current decade-long domination of the Coyotes. Sometimes things just happen despite all logic suggesting that they should not. One thing you can say about this Original Six rivalry, however, is that it's cyclical, as the Bruins rattled off seven straight victories over the Wings before the start of this five-game losing streak.