“What is that black thing?”
Jack Edwards, the play-by-play voice of the Boston Bruins, watched the replay of Patrice Bergeron’s shot. Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo slid to his right in attempt to save it. It appeared he didn’t. It appeared, via that replay, that the puck was sitting well behind the goal line, between his pad and the bottom of the goal cage.
“The puck,” said Andy Brickley, the color commentator for the Boston Bruins, incredulously.
“Watch it, here it comes,” said Brickley, as Luongo moved his pad and “the black thing” rolled out from inside of the net. “That is a joke.”
No one was laughing. The NHL War Room in Toronto – defying logic, defying optics, denying the Bruins of a critical goal in what ended up being a critical loss to a division rival on Thursday night – declared that “video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck completely crossed the Florida goal line. Therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no goal Boston.”
"Video review was inconclusive, no goal" pic.twitter.com/unpq5vgMju
— dafoomie (@dafoomie) March 25, 2016
What the hell else do you need for “conclusive?” A sworn affidavit from Luongo’s pad that it witnessed the puck behind the goal line?
"I'm as baffled as you are,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
Look, there are reasons why the Bruins lost to the Panthers on Thursday night that go beyond a blown call from the referee and the War Room, but good lord does this game change at 2-2 at 8:03 of the third period.
No wonder Bruins fans are sick of video reviews:
NESN viewers throw flag on NHL coach's challenge pic.twitter.com/KtOfafRhjp
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) March 25, 2016
So put more cameras on the nets. Pay for that puck tracking. Draw that baby goal line behind the big goal line that was going to act as a guide in situations just like this. Do whatever you need to do, because clearly the system is flawed.
Or, you know, just call a goal “a goal,” and leave the slavish obsession with reasonable doubt to criminal law.
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