The NHL’s video review has proven itself to be inconsistent time and time again this season, and for the second straight night, the Bruins were completely shafted by a no-goal call in a crucial point of the game, resulting in their fifth straight loss.
Were these calls the sole reason that the Bruins lost these past two games? Absolutely not. However, they played a significant factor in the outcomes, and should result in the league taking a second look at every aspect of their current review system.
Wednesday night at MSG in New York, Lee Stempniak scored what appeared to be the Bruins first goal of the game, but it was challenged and overturned because the play was offsides. It was not the desired result from Boston’s perspective, but it was the correct call, so the review did its job. Good work.
But then, in the third period with the Bruins down 3-1 and pushing to get back into the game, Stempniak again had a goal reviewed, this time with the review coming to determine whether Henrik Lundqvist gloved the puck before it crossed the goal line. The play happened so fast in real time that it seemed to be a save, but after watching the replay, the puck crossed the goal line. It was deemed no goal.
Using the slow motion and numerous camera angles, you can see the puck about 95% over the goal line before entering Lundqvist’s glove, which is 100% over the line. It was a close call for sure, but anyone with a brain can figure out that the puck is in the net.
Rather than the Bruins cutting the deficit to one, the score remained 3-1, which was increased to 4-1 just minutes later, putting the game out of reach.
Thursday night at TD Garden, with the division-rival Florida Panthers in town, the missed call was much more obvious.
The B’s trailed 2-1 early in the third period, and were in search of the equalizer. Patrice Bergeron jammed a shot on net from the goal line, and it snuck between the post and Roberto Luongo’s leg pad.
Once again, the play was reviewed (for an extended period of time), and was ruled no-goal. The replays and freeze frames CLEARLY show the puck in the net. This call even had Andy Brickley fired up, which does not happen very often.
What is that mysterious piece of black rubber in the net, you ask? Well that right there, kids, is called the puck.
This call had the Garden crowd angrier than Phil Kessel when his favorite hot dog stand is closed, and some debris was thrown onto the ice. Not the best look, but sometimes things get out of hand when emotions are running high.
In the following moments, the Bruins were penalized for too many men, and the Panthers scored shortly after the penalty expired, picking up the insurance goal that sealed the game.
Here is the official statement from the league regarding the ruling:
“At 3:35 of the third period in the Bruins/Rangers game, video review was inconclusive in determining if the puck crossed the New York goal line. Therefore the referee’s call on the ice stands – no goal Boston.”
Thanks; that really cleared things up.
Now, the Bruins have seven games remaining, and the playoff race is way too close for comfort. The Red Wings are just one point back with a game in hand, and the Flyers are also one point back, but with two games in hand. Philly is not in the Atlantic, but is making a strong push for a wild card seed, so it’s a team that you should keep an eye on in the final weeks.
As for the Bruins, they have to move on from these frustrating games, and look ahead to their next game, in which they will face the last-place Toronto Maple Leafs. Every game from now on is essentially a must-win. Brace yourselves.
[Photo via bruins.nhl.com]