In the playoffs there is inevitably going to be controversy one way or another BUT hopefully not so much that it will impact the final outcome of a series. There will ALWAYS be a bad call or two made within a series, but you have to hope that those calls don’t come back to haunt a team.
Last night there was yet another playoff controversial call made that made SOME people very irate and SOME people very happy…depending which side you are on. The call made on the ice brought to mind an incident that occurred last year in the second round of the playoffs.
Let’s go back to one of last year’s worst calls that nearly determined a series…game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks scored what they thought was the go-ahead goal with less than two minutes remaining in regulation only to have the refs call the goal off and nearly cost Chicago the series.
The goal was called off…in game 7 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. The team was forced to regroup and return for overtime. It was absurd in the sense that overtime should not have been required but it was and all that mattered to both teams was the next goal wins and moves forward. Had the Blackhawks NOT found a way to get the overtime goal in game 7, that terrible call made in the final two minutes of regulation would have not only determined the series outcome but haunted the Blackhawks all off-season. We all know what happened in the end, the Blackhawks scored a goal in overtime that could not be taken away ending the Red Wings post season and eventually went on to win the Stanley Cup.
THIS YEAR, A very controversial call was made in game 6 between the San Jose Sharks and the LA Kings that saw the Kings awarded a goal that in ANY other game would have been called off immediately. The game was in a 1-1 deadlock with just over 8 minutes left in regulation that seemed destined for overtime…that is until this goal by Justin Williams was scored:
Up until THAT goal it seemed as though neither team was going to budge…San Jose wanted to finally send the Kings packing and the Kings wanted to force a 7th game. I am not saying that the Kings wouldn’t have ended up winning game 6 in the end BUT that goal shifted the game from a stare down waiting for someone to blink to an LA take down in the final 8 minutes as they added two more goals to their lead and forced a 7th game. THAT goal awakened the Kings to keep
Some people will argue that it was a good goal and others will argue that it was definitely not a goal. At the end of the day, it does not matter because regardless of what the call should have been, the Kings were determined to not go without a fight and in doing so tied the series 3-3. The Kings have battled back from a 3-0 series and will look to complete the comeback in game 7 with a victory.
There have only been 3 teams in NHL history to ever comeback from a 3-0 series deficit to win the series:
1. In the 1942 Stanley Cup Final, the Maple Leafs came back from a 3-0 deficit against the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup.
2. In 1975 the New York Islanders came back from a 3-0 deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals. The Islanders lost in 7 games in the semifinal to the eventual Stanley Cup champion, Philadelphia Flyers.
3. In 2010, the Philadelphia Flyers stunned the hockey world when they not only came back from a 3-0 deficit in the series but also a 3-0 deficit in game 7 against the Boston Bruins to win the series 4-3. The Flyers went on to the Stanley Cup Final, losing in 6 games to the Chicago Blackhawks.
There have been many teams that have been CLOSE to accomplishing the comeback completed feat but only 3 teams have stolen their series…the question is, will the LA Kings become the 4th team in NHL history to accomplish the feat? Or will the Sharks steal their thunder with some game 7 heroics? We will have our answer at the final buzzer of game 7 between San Jose and LA as their game will wrap up the end of round one. Are you ready hockey fans to see what will unfold in these last two days remaining in the quarterfinals of the 2014 NHL playoffs?
We are in for a wild ride to the finish and we’ve still got three more rounds to go before all is said and done! As always, until next time, nuck said.