I know what you are thinking... how is it possible for a team to lose a tie game? Sadly it is very possible in today's NHL where officiating gaffes are quietly brushed under the rug and the officials are never held liable.
In yesterday's game there was a game-altering moment in the first period when Vlad Sobotka, centering the 4th line, came down the right side and put a backhand on net which Boucher saved. Sobotka was able to flip the puck in as he passed the net and started celebrating (understandably) only to see it emphatically waved off.
Initially, I assumed the issue was that the net was off its mooring thanks to the Philly D-man crashing into the post and was annoyed that such a play would negate a goal. However, replay immediately showed that the puck was in the net well before the net came off its moorings so there goes that theory.
I then immediately feared an early whistle or even worse, its mentally deficient cousin, the assinine 'intent' to blow the whistle. Again, replay told the story as the whistle came long after the puck was in the net and there was no possible justification for 'intending' to blow the whistle before the puck went in.
So now the question is, why the HELL was the goal waved off?! Whats worse is that no replay was even allowed for reasons unknown to anyone. Finally the league's 'justification' was given after the first intermission and it was truly laughable... see for yourself:
Andy Brickley reports that the excuse was that "Boucher was not allowed the opportunity to make a save because he was shoved into his own goal as he was trying to cover the puck." Problem is, any contact forcible to move Boucher away from the puck came from his own teammate well after the puck was in the net. What contact Sobotka's left foot may have made was negligible at best and goalies absorb more contact than that on allowed goals in practically every game!
So long story short, the refs screwed up and the league went out of their way to cover for them... AGAIN.
I think the part that amuses me most is the fact that the national hockey blogs (PuckDaddy, Kukla's) have completely and utterly ignored this story after making such a big stink of Detroit's disallowed goal last month. Way to have equitable and consistent coverage guys!
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