Another Botched NHL Review
Let me start by saying that this post comes from me as a fan of the game of hockey. I'm a fan of trying to make this the best sport on the planet and a fan of trying to bring more people to the game. I am also a fan of the St. Louis Blues, who were unfortunately on the very wrong end of a completely botched effort by both NHL officials and the NHL review system in Toronto.
There really isn't any logical place to start on this call. From the kicking motion to the phantom stick touch to the puck crossing the line, nearly every aspect of this illegitimate goal are up for debate.How are events like this still taking place in the modern game? Wasn't the review system supposed to eliminate any doubt in our mind on a ruling of a goal or apparent non-goal? The "War Room" in Toronto has one and one job alone, and that's to make a final (and correct) ruling on any plays that are too close to determine. This ruling should be based on cold, hard evidence and should remove all bias from the proceedings. That was definitely not the case tonight in the Blues/Blackhawks game and it hasn't been the case for numerous teams numerous times the past couple years. Keep in mind, this isn't one isolated incident. The NHL has botched goal calls in the past and this is just the most recent glaring atrocity. Consider this post a beg for consistency. Somehow, the NHL consistently lacks consistency both on and off the ice. From suspensions to calls such as the video above, a fan too often feels completely taken advantage of while fair play seems to evaporate out the window. Granted, circumstance here does play a role. This goal/non-goal may not be as big of a deal if it would've happened in the year's first month, but the fact this one goal helped push a high profile team such as the Chicago Blackhawks into the playoffs, then it's no wonder that speculation is running wild. I'm not advocating the idea that the NHL wanted Chicago to make it through, but the NHL also shouldn't give us a reason to even suggest that. The game should never, ever be taken out of the players' hands and decided by someone shrouded in secrecy in Toronto that uses a gut-instinct reaction rather than the facts to determine the fate of a game.