Knoblauch changes Game 6 for Oilers with ‘bold’ call to challenge coach

In fact, thanks to the Oilers’ third straight win, the series is now deadlocked at 3-3 heading into Game 7 at Amirant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Fla., on Monday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS, CBC). When you win this game, Edmonton will join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only team to rally from a 3-0 deficit in the Final and win the Stanley Cup.

If that happens, history will show that Knobloch’s call was a defining moment in the Oilers’ path to the title.

The play in question occurred 56 seconds into the second period, just 10 seconds after Oilers forward Adam Henrique extended Edmonton’s lead to 2-0. With the crowd still buzzing over the Oilers’ second goal, Florida immediately responded with a surge down the line that resulted in Aleksandar Barkov scoring, instantly drawing energy from a raucous Rogers Place and giving momentum to the Panthers with the game now tight at 2.-1.

Or so everyone thought.

Not so fast.

Knoblauch and a number of his players felt that the play leading up to Barkov’s goal was offside at the blue line. After consulting with his staff, he challenged the play.

Keep this in mind: Had he lost the challenge, the Oilers would have been hit with a delay-of-game penalty. Not only would the Panthers be one goal away, but they would also immediately go on the power play.

But he didn’t lose it, and as such, he looked like a genius.

once again.

“I actually didn’t think it was that close,” Knoblauch said of the play. “We were going to call him straight away but we had a little bit of time to review it and we said ‘OK.’ Maybe the only hesitation was that maybe there wasn’t a right angle in the video.

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“In my opinion it was definitely offside. It was something we wanted to challenge almost immediately when we saw it.

Panthers coach Paul Morris wasn’t so sure.

“I have no idea (if they got it right),” he said. “Maybe it was offside. The lineman told me that was the last clip they got to where they made the decision that it was offside. I don’t have those. So, the video that I got of my seat, I was upset after the call based on what I see at my feet, and what he looks like. To someone my video.

“There was no way I would challenge that if that was reversed, there was no way I thought you could definitively say that was offside. I don’t know what the Oilers would get, I don’t know what the league would get. I just know that when I had to I challenge that based on what I saw, I wouldn’t challenge it. I’m not saying it’s not offside. We’ll get the CIA, we’ll figure it out, but in the 30 seconds that I would have made that call, I wouldn’t have challenged it.

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