You Be the Judge: Did the NHL Make a Mistake with This Buffalo Goal?
Stop me if you've heard this before: the NHL made a mistake.
The mistake occurred this weekend, ironically enough, in a game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. With second remaining in the third period, Victor Olofsson appeared to have scored a game-tying goal, evening the score at two goals apiece.
The referees in the game, however, disagreed, and led to a controversy that the NHL addressed on Saturday.
You Be the Judge: Was the Play Offside?
For the non-hockey diehards, of which I consider myself one, a player is not supposed to enter the offensive zone before the puck. So, in theory, if a Sabres' player was over the blue line before the puck was carried over the blue line, then the eventual tying goal should not have counted. I did some investigating, and here's what I found.
The NHL Was Right, but Was Wrong in the Process
It's a confusing concept, but hear me out. The NHL, and the referees at the game, appear to have been correct in their determination of the offside call. That being said, I am *pretty* sure, and the referees were also *pretty* sure when they made the call.
Unfortunately, you can't be *pretty* sure in the NHL, and the league came out and apologized for it.
As is the case with most replays, you need clear, indisputable evidence in overturn a call in the game. The referees apparently did not have "clear" evidence, but chose to overturn the call anyway.
Plainly and simply put, though the eye test tells us that the refs may have been right, they didn't follow the rules, and the Buffalo Sabres suffered as a result.