Share This Page
NHL

Blackhawks' Saad relieved controversial Game 7 call didn't come back to haunt him

| Thursday, May 30, 2013, 9:39 p.m.
REUTERS
Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey (left) and Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad pick up penalties behind the play to negate a goal by the Blackhawks in the third period of Wednesday’s Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad recently joked that a Stanley Cup Final between his Chicago Blackhawks and the Penguins would be perfect, so long as his Blackhawks emerged the winner against his hometown team.

Both remain on pace for a possible showdown — the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings will attempt to have their say, of course – but Saad played a bizarre role in his team's near-dismissal from the postseason.

Chicago appeared to score in the final moments of the third period in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals against Detroit, but a controversial penalty that is the talk of the hockey world interfered. An instant before the Blackhawks appeared to take a 2-1 lead, referee Stephen Walkom (a Moon resident) whistled the play dead.

Saad had been slammed to the ice by Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey in front of the bench area, and curiously, both players were given penalties even though Saad's behavior seemed perfectly in line.

“Obviously, I wasn't happy with the situation at the time,” Saad told the Tribune-Review on Thursday.

Neither were the Blackhawks, who were stunned that defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson's goal didn't count. Many of the Penguins were watching from home couldn't believe what they were watching.

“Interesting ending,” right wing Pascal Dupuis said. “Getting a call like that, with 1:47 left? I'm kind of glad, for his (Walkom's) own good, that Chicago won the game.”

The win wasn't a bad thing for Saad, either. The fact that he and Quincey were penalized, nullifying what almost surely would have been the game-winning goal, wouldn't have sat well with the Calder Trophy candidate during the summer had the Red Wings won in overtime.

“I just wanted to stay focused and get the job done in overtime,” he said.

Saad said he never received an explanation for the penalty call from Walkom, who will work the Western Conference final.

The surprising call was the talk of the Penguins locker room Thursday. Most of the Penguins seemed miffed by it, though a couple actually pointed out that Walkom did nothing wrong because, as the trailing referee, he was supposed to be monitoring the scrum around the benches.

“Obviously, if I'm Chicago,” defenseman Mark Eaton said, “I would have been upset. But refs have a tough job.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.