For the first time in a calendar year, the New Jersey Devils won their 5th straight game, knocking off the New York Rangers 1-0 Tuesday. Martin Brodeur picked up the shutout, his first of the season and the 117th of his career. Absurd record, that.
But should he have? Depends on who you ask. According to New Yorkers, the Rangers scored the game-tying goal with three seconds to go in this game. According to New Jerseyans, however, Brodeur was interfered with and, unfortunately, for Rangers fans, the officials agreed, disallowing the goal.
As you can see, Artem Anisimov buries the loose puck, but the officials don't like the way that Marian Gaborik bowls over Brodeur moments prior.
But was Gaborik pushed? It certainly looks to me as though Anton Volchenkov rides him into the net while he attempts to stop, which would make this a good goal (and thus, a brutal call). Dave Maloney, on the other hand, clearly feels Volchenkov is "backing away."
Not sure I agree -- hard to back away when you're going forward. But this a pretty divisive issue.
Devils' coach Peter DeBoer felt it was the right call. From NHL.com:
"I thought it was the right call," said Devils coach Peter DeBoer, whose team has won five straight since the All-Star break. "Marty gets pushed into the net. It's the right call. I give them credit for getting it right."
And Anton Volchenkov, the "alleged" pusher, agreed with this assessment.
"They have rules -- you hit the goalie, you get a penalty," Volchenkov said. "I saw him push Marty. I maybe pushed him a little, but I didn't push so hard."
I nominate "I maybe pushed him a little but I didn't push so hard" as the "I smoked but I didn't inhale" of hockey.
Granted, Volchenkov's not the only unreliable witness here. Alleged pushee Marian Gaborik is almost as difficult to believe:
"I don't understand," Gaborik said. "It's frustrating. If I would have run him, I wouldn't say a word. But the guy pushes me into him. I tried to open my leg for a pass, I tried to stop. But he just pushed me into Brodeur."
So, basically, "If I had done it on purpose, I'd be quietly deceptive, but because I didn't, I can be honest." I'm tucking this very convincing line of reasoning away for future use.
John Tortorella was pretty upset afterwards but, sadly, he opted for a lame "No comment" after the game, perhaps because he's already a repeat offender when it comes to criticizing the officiating this year. Regardless of what you believe, I think we can all agree that the real travesty here is Tortorella showing restraint.
What do you think? Goal or no goal?