Thursday, May 30, 2013
The NHL didn't just dodge a bullet last night. It dodged an intercontinental ballistic missile with a thermonuclear warhead capable of blasting the league the rest of the way back to the Stone Age to which it apparently aspires.
The thickheadedness of the coincidental minor penalty call that negated Chicago's tie-breaking goal late in the third period cannot be overstated. It embodied everything that's wrong with NHL officiating in the playoffs, from the blatant inconsistency in the application of the rules to the ill-conceived obsession with equal opportunity penalty calls. Only in the NHL - and maybe on the pro wrestling circuit or in a corrupt Third World police state - can a guy get absolutely bushwhacked and be adjudged as guilty as the perpetrator.
The collective hot dog and coffee-scented sigh of relief from the NHL hierarchy after Chicago defenceman Brent Seabrook's overtime goal could have knocked a buzzard off a manure wagon - the same wagon that would have dumped its load on the league's doorstep if Detroit had won the game in overtime. A Wings win would have embarrassed the NHL and its apologists into finally addressing the elephant in the room, but fate decreed that they can continue whistling through the graveyard, when they're not either swallowing their whistles or blowing them at entirely inappropriate times.