So, for the second straight game, the New York Rangers fall victim to a rule that was apparently made up out of thin air. The first, came the other night against Chicago, when the Blackhawks took two penalties at the same time. Coach Joel Quenville was then given the option to skate down a man for four minutes or down two men for two minutes. He chose the former, of course, like any coach would, but has anyone ever even heard of this rule before, where the offending team is given the option? With the Rangers trailing in the period, it could have made all the difference to have a two-man advantage for a full two minutes. Now, tonight, against the Columbus Blue Jackets, they seem to have scored a goal in the fleeting moments of the second period. Michael Del Zotto cut towards the net with time expiring and shot the puck, and although it did indeed cross the line with .1 seconds remaining (which would have been the second time this season a Ranger player accomplished such a feat), it was ruled in the Toronto “War Room” that there was no time on the clock, and therefore, no goal. I’m not an expert, or maybe I just have poor eyesight, but take a look at the photo below and see for yourself. Was this a goal, yes or no?
Well, as you can CLEARLY see, the puck is in the net with time on the clock, but no, that was not good enough for Toronto. The explanation given was that the clock the Rangers are using in Madison Square Garden is not the official clock, which means they do not use it to decide whether or not a buzzer-beater goal should count. So, let’s get this straight: the game clock used in the arena, which is used for stats and which the period buzzer and scoreboard is hooked up to, is not the official clock, but some magical clock located hundreds of miles away in Canada is the official one? Joe Micheletti and Sam Rosen, who have a combined sixty years or so of hockey experience have never heard of the official clock being located outside of the arena. What makes matters even more insulting, is that the clock the Blue Jackets were using on their telecast actually read .2 seconds. Wow, that makes two clocks in the arena wrong. Is the NHL making this up as they go along?
There is no excuse, no explanation the NHL can give for why this is not a goal. The picture does not lie; the broadcast of two NHL teams do not lie (especially the one for the opposing team, which would not have wanted it to be a goal). Has anything more ridiculous ever occurred? This call was not borderline, it was not discretionary; it was irrefutable—the evidence being right there in front of our eyes, only for us to see it and get smacked in the face by idiotic league officials, who sent a picture of their “official feed” to MSG for them to show us fans. While I do not have a screenshot (if someone does, please send it to me and I will edit it in here), I can say that it was very dark and shadowy, almost murky. It’s funny that a Devils’ fan on my Facebook pointed out that it looked photoshopped. While I would have never in my life believed that the NHL would cover something up (make stupid calls over and over again, yes, but not something as dark as this), I really am left with no choice. I expect an explanation to come from the league in the next day, to appease infuriated fans who need an answer. Part of me feels the further explanation will only insult even more, and I do not want to know. The other part of me cannot wait for the blogosphere to heat up with how atrocious the reffing has become, getting worse and worse by the game, so it seems.
Good night, and good riddance—at least the Rangers pulled out a victory.