Ah yes, the game-winning goal.  No, I am not referring to the one Michal Rozsival scored rather I am referring to the one Karel Rachunek should have scored and should have been the game-winning goal and should have sent players and fans home a lot earlier.  While Rozsival’s goal does make for a dramatic ending – especially considering it happened 36 years to the exact date that Pete Stemkowski scored a triple overtime goal to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks – it does give one an opportunity to wonder what they were drinking in the NHL’s “war room” in Toronto.

The NHL video replay officials were the ones who played the villains in disallowing Rachunek’s goals, not the on-ice officials who got the call right – sort of.  While the NHL can dispute the legality of Rachunek’s goal, they can’t dispute the fact the Ranger blueliner was being held/hooked on his way to the net.  If it wasn’t going to be a goal, it sure should have been a power play.

As far as the video review, the NHL’s rules state that a player can’t use a “distinct kicking motion”.  Rangers coach Tom Renney got off a great line that will either cost him a few fishnagels or a private wrist slapping from the NHL.

“Our video coach made his way to the bench pretty animated,” Renney told Dan Rosen of The Record. “It was not a kicking motion as far as I’m concerned. It has to be a distinct kicking motion, and if that’s distinct, we’re all in trouble.”

It is kind of hard to have a distinct kicking motion when you are attempting to put on the breaks and not run into the goalie and or the goal post.  Given the referees whistle-happy nature in reference to the Rangers, the Blueshirts should be happy they only ended up losing a goal.

Someone has to explain to me how the Sabres could end up with nine power plays  (including an incredible six in a row) to the Rangers five in a game where the Rangers where the team who had the better of play for most of the game – power plays excluded?

I know there is no grand conspiracy on the NHL’s part against the Rangers, but is there one in favor of the Sabres?  Okay, I know that isn’t the case either but one does have to wonder if the NHL is trying to pay back the Sabres for blowing the Stanley Cup clinching goal in 1999 when Brett Hull was camped out in the crease.  What is even funnier is Hull defending the league’s reversal.

The Sabres have been on the plus side of four straight video reviews in the playoffs – Derek Roy’s first overtime post pinger not included.  Had that shot been ruled a goal, Ranger fans would still be deluging the league office with complaints.

Frankly, one post-game interviewee hit the nail right on the head.  I wish I could remember who said it, but I was still trying to get the feeling back after sitting on the edge of my seat for four hours.  The interviewee said had this game been a regular season game, then the Rachunek goal would have counted.

Another great line was one Bill Clement provided during the second intermission.  Clement contacted Colin Campbell is Toronto and the former Ranger coach basically told Clement he would rather take four minutes to get the call right instead of spending four and a half days defending it.  Noble sentiment, but the boys in Toronto did spend four minutes on the call and still screwed it up – and now the league has to spend time defending itself.  Kind of amazing, isn’t it, that the NHL hasn’t lost the recipe for making ice!?!

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