America: Should This Goal That Didn’t Matter Anyway Have Counted?

  • Eric Goldschein

Fair warning: everything about this article is, in a way, irrelevant, since this goal still left the Senators down a score and they would go on to lose the game anyway. But it could have been a series changer, and it was as controversial as playoff goals come.

With under a minute to go in Game 6, the Rangers were up 3-1 and were poised to take the series back to New York. Lights, please:

As soon as the goal happens, you can see Lundqvist jump up and skate over to the refs to plead his case. And his case is strong: at the very least, he is certainly interfered with and pushed out of the crease, and at the most, it looks like Chris Neil kicked the puck into the net.

Here’s what Lundqvist had to say after, when the smoke had cleared and the Rangers had won anyway:

“It’s an absolute joke. Oh my god, it scares me. It’s such an obvious play, goalie interference, and a kick. And they still call it a goal? That scares me, that someone can call that. It still upsets me… Someone wants them back in the game obviously. There’s no other explanation.”

Is this all part of a vast conspiracy to keep a team from New York, a huge market, out of the second round of the playoffs? Or a plot by our government to appease our Canadian neighbors by letting their Ottawa franchise win a series?

Probably not, on both accounts. It’s just one of those inadvertent things. In fact, the NHL’s Situation Room blog said that “video review was inconclusive in determining if Chris Neil’s left skate propelled the puck into the net,” which means the goal should stand. And yeah, it’s pretty hard to tell what’s happening there. What do you think, America? (Not that it matters, since, again, the game is over and the Rangers won.)