Before the puck drop last night against the Sabres, I am pretty sure every Sharks fan was expecting another contest like the one against the Rangers that saw Hertl “disrespect the league” and score four goals. Those are understandable thoughts because the Sabres have 1 regulation win, while the Sharks have only lost one game in regulation.
These thoughts proved to be completely wrong, however. The Sharks had to come from behind at 3-1, 3-2, and 4-3 before forcing the game into overtime. Throughout the entirety of the 60 minutes, the Sharks seemed to be getting outplayed, despite the one-sided shot count in favor of San Jose.
This game should have gone down in the W column for the Sharks. You may have missed it, but the Sharks actually scored in overtime. Actually, you probably did miss it because the refs didn’t see it nor did the “war room” in Toronto. The puck clearly crossed the line after a shot by Tommy Wingels hit the post. There to save the day for the Sabres was Tyler Meyers, who quickly swept the puck out of the net with his foot and acted as if nothing happened.
There is no excuse for this loss on the Sharks end because they did not play a good overall game. However, don’t you think the NHL should have recognized that they got the call wrong?
Senior VP Mike Murphy was asked about what he thought on the referee’s decision to not review or count the goal. To my surprise and probably everyone’s, he agreed with the referee, Mike Leggo:
“Leggo waves it off when the puck hits the post and starts to come to the net as a scramble develops. [In the NHL’s video review room in Toronto] we’re still looking at the puck off the post, then see the play with Leggo approaching the net, putting the whistle to his mouth and he waves aggressively…Had we called a goal against Buffalo it would have been wrong, because it shouldn’t have been a goal.”
In the replay video above, you can see that Leggo’s “aggressive wave” comes way before his second one, in which he stops the play. There is about a 3 second difference between each wave. Apparently, according to Murphy, the ref had intent to blow the play dead before the puck crosses the line. Post a comment below if you can see intent from the replay.
When all is said and done, I don’t blame the ref for this awful call because it is pretty hard to see the puck cross the line in real-time. This one is on the guys in the video room to check out. And they missed it, costing the Sharks a point against the worst team in the league.
If the Sharks end up missing the playoffs by a point, I don’t know what I would do. Wouldn’t you be a lot less mad if the NHL just admits that they got it wrong here? Comment with your thoughts on the missed call below.