Pretty much everyone thought Sam Bennett’s third period shot crossed the goal line after seeing the video replay, but the NHL deemed it inconclusive. Why? These images might explain it.
Sam Bennett’s apparent game-tying shot late in the third period
sure looked in, didn’t it? There was white between the puck and the goal-line on the replays and freeze frames we all saw on Tuesday night. If I were a Flames fan, I would have been red-hot mad, wondering how after the Martin Gelinas no-goal in the 2004 Stanley Cup final the NHL could have blown the same call twice against my team? How could the Toronto situation room possibly deem the evidence was inconclusive? It’s all about perspective.
Being a curling enthusiast – not to mention a born devil’s advocate – I suspected there was more to the ruling than a conspiracy. In the other game played on ice, rocks that look outside the rings from one angle are clearly touching them when viewed from overhead. Albertans, arguably the most avid curlers on the planet, will know what I’m talking about. So I decided to conduct this very crude experiment. I grabbed a white piece of paper, my red Sharpie and the first puck I saw lying around the office (you’re welcome U.S. Pond Hockey Championship). I proceeded to take the five photos below with my iPhone. Everything remained stationary for the five images – nothing was touched or moved except the angle of the phone. In the first four pictures, taken from various angles in front of the puck, there is clearly white between it and the red line. In the fifth, taken from overhead, the black of the puck is catching a sizable chunk of red.
And here it is in video format:
This doesn’t mean Bennett’s shot did not cross the line. But it does portray in images how the NHL – who had no clear view of the puck from overhead – ruled the play inconclusive. Now Matlock is going to get his hot dog.