Was it a good goal…or was it not?
That’s sure to be the topic of debate today after the Thrashers fell to the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night. Trailing 3-2 in the dying seconds of the third period, Evander Kane got his stick on the puck as it was fired toward Martin Brodeur’s net and deflected it in for the game-tying score.
However, the ref waived off the goal claiming the puck was played with a high stick. Kane, while sitting on the bench waiting for the review call from Toronto, seemed to believe the call on the ice was …ahem…shall we say, “male bovine excrement”.
Later he would simply say, “I definitely disagree with the call.”
Ilya Kovalchuk then potted an empty netter, the Devils won 4-2 and for the first time this season have a points winning percentage above .500. The team that once was 10-29-2 and sitting in last place at New Years has gone 23-2-3 and has pulled even with the Thrashers in the standings with 70 points and has a game in hand.
Heading in the opposite direction during the Devils’ second half surge, Atlanta is now 7-14-6 in the last 27 games dating back to early January.
As for the “no goal” call…I’ve seen the replay from all angles, just as I’m sure you all have by now. I’ve even removed my blue-tinted glasses in an attempt to view it from an objective and unbiased viewpoint. But I just have to tell you to me it looked like a good goal, the puck making contact with the stick while it was on a downward swing and below the height of the crossbar.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t sitting in the official replay official’s seat and was therefore unable to reverse the call.
Making this even that much more frustrating for Thrashers fans is remembering the “goal” that was allowed for the Coyotes out in Phoenix last month that led to a 4-3 Atlanta loss.
However, while you are debating the ruling…a call that very well may have cost the Thrashers at least a shot at contesting for the postseason down the stretch…there is one thing I don’t want you to lose sight of. Atlanta found themselves in a desperate struggle to try and tie the score at the end of the game because they once again failed to properly handle a two-goal lead earlier in the contest. It’s something that they’ve had issues with the last four times they’ve been blessed with such an advantage.
Just as they did in Carolina last week, and against the Panthers on March 5, and in Edmonton on February 19, the Thrashers saw the opposition come back to tie the game after going up by two. This time, just as was the case against the Oilers, they failed to come away with any points…and the results were just as crushing.
What do you think of the "no goal" call that negated Kane's score?
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Tim Stapleton and Chris Thorburn staked the team to a late first period lead. Stapleton converted by tipping in a very nice spinning backhand pass from Kane off the left boards at the 15:24. Thorburn then powered his way around the Devils defense 65 seconds later for his 8th of the season.
For Stapleton it was his third goal in the last eight games…his first coming just after the Thrashers had waived him. In contrast, the snake-bit Bryan Little has tickled the twine only once in the last 22 games dating back to the middle of January.
But as stated prior, the Thrashers were unable to handle their success. They couldn’t even make it out of the period with their two-goal advantage as Travis Zajac cut the lead in half at 18:52. Patrik Elias tied the game just over five minutes into the second then Jacob Josefson put the Devils ahead for good 3-2 just 4:14 into the third.
Also, as has been the case in so many games this year, the Thrashers seemed completely unable to deal with whatever adjustments were made by the opposition coming out of the first and second intermission. In the middle frame alone they were out-shot 9-2 by New Jersey after they came out of the break flying.
I’m guessing Clint Malarchuk did not deliver a second period motivational talk during the second period this night.
So while you debate whether or not Kane was robbed on that tip-in goal late in the game, remember they were only in that position because they failed once again to hold off a team after taking a two-goal lead. That, and giving up an untimely goals late in the first period and coming out flat early in the other two didn’t helpmatters either.
And this time, it may have cost them more than just a game.