In Overturning Taylor Hall's Jaw-Dropping Go-Ahead Goal, The NHL Made It Clear That They Tooootally Have Their Priorities Straight
You really have to hand it to the NHL. 'Tis the season for resolutions, and in erasing a goal that stood well more than an outside chance of being on every season long 'Top Ten' list, they got a head start on reinforcing their priorities prior to the turn of the calendar.
You might say there was nothing definitive about the footage that turned some heart-stopping hand-eye coordination into an unfortunate afterthought. However, what says "we must do everything possible to create more scoring" quite like giving the benefit to doubt when one of your most electrifying stars gives even the most casual of fans a reason to talk about your product? Seriously, that millimeter of space that may or may not have existed between the ice and Taylor Hall's skate as the puck passed over the blue line may seem like an obnoxiously insignificant reason to take a goal off the board, but when the all-important integrity of the rules is potentially at stake? I would much rather have goaltenders defend soccer-sized nets while wearing youth shin guards than ignore it in the name of transcendent skill...
Look, I know I am biased, but the truth of the matter is that I am not pissed that the overturning of a goal that was originally called as such cost the Devils a game. It sucks to blow a two goal lead to a bottom feeder, but - after ripping off five straight home wins - they probably could have used a let down game (no matter how complicit the refs were in making it head in that direction) prior to facing a divisional opponent they have yet to prove themselves against. The last thing a young team heading to play a perennial (regular season) powerhouse on the wrong side of a back-to-back needs is the false confidence provided by an extra point they didn't totally deserve. We'll know in a few short hours whether or not last night was a minor setback for a major comeback, but it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility that it could have served as the reality check they've avoided throughout a surreal winning streak.
That said, I am pissed that due to a nonsensical decision that flies in the face of literally every other rule the NHL has enforced in an effort for more offense, I won't soon be seeing what was one of the year's most brilliant displays of offense. Taylor Hall made Robin Lehner look more stupid than his own suggestion that the entirety of the sports world is colluding against the city of Buffalo, and he did so after swatting an airborne puck backwards to himself. If you're not a Devils fan then this blog is perhaps the first you've seen of it, and that just feels wrong. The one superstar who somehow manages to end up on the ass end of every 50/50 call had a highlight stolen from a reel that's already exponentially longer than that of New Jersey's last 3-4 seasons.
The thief, you ask? The league that swears up and down that it will do anything to create more goals....as long as it doesn't involve getting rid of momentum-shattering, excitement-draining challenges in which centimeter-sized judgements are made by someone squinting at a television screen.