The Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres last night featured what had to have been one of the most anticlimactic end to an overtime game that didn’t end in a tie I have ever seen.
Dennis Seidenberg’s shot – which evidently hit off Mark Recchi – got past Ryan Miller, hit the top of the inside of the net, then bounced back onto the ice. Officials waved it off and play continued, despite the fans’ pleas that it was, in fact a goal.
It wasn’t until a full minute after that play that there was an opportunity to look at the replay and determine it was a goal.
You have to wonder what exactly the officials were looking at and what they thought the puck hit in order to think that there was no goal. The crossbar? I understand that it’s a game that moves fast and you’re not going to catch everything, but you’d assume that an official at ice level would be able to see better than I whether or not a puck goes in the net.
It was clear to me – watching my non-HD television through half-opened eyes amidst thoughts that I really should go to bed because I have a big day tomorrow – that it was a goal. So how could they let such an aggregious mistake happen?
What if Buffalo had come back down the ice and scored themselves? Imagine that scenario and the backlash there would have been. Or more importantly, what if someone, playing on tired legs in extra time either got hurt or did something stupid to get someone else hurt? That responsibility would have squarely fallen on the officials and all they would have been able to say is, “Sorry. We screwed up.”
Ultimately, neither of those things happened and the right call was eventually made, but a lot could have happened in that extra minute of play.
Of course, it Marc Savard had even a little bit of a killer instinct, overtime wouldn’t have been necessary.
On two separate occasions in last night’s game, Savard passed up good shot opportunities to make ill-advised passes. On the second of the two, Ryan Miller actually showed so little regard for Savard’s ability to shoot the puck as he approached from the right circle, that he cheated towards the middle, fully prepared to make a stop on the potential shot from the slot. That left a huge area over and around his left shoulder wide open. But instead of taking a shot, Savard made a bad pass into the slot and turned a good opportunity into no shot at all.
Savard does a lot of things well and I still think he’s a playmaker with some of the softest hands in the league. But once in a while, you’ve got to shoot the puck, Marc.