This one's on me. I should have checked the schedule more carefully before I criticized John Tortorella for throwing a nice big hissy fit after a failed coach's challenge earlier this week. I unknowingly tempted the hockey gods, and they didn't hesitate to rain hellfire all over the Devils chances tonight with one of the most atrocious disallowed goals of all time. Now let me clear this up. Bad call or not, the Devils probably weren't winning tonight. Not after they followed up an encouraging win against the Rangers on Tuesday with their most uninspiring period of the season. Heading into the second frame down 3-0 generally isn't very conducive to victory, so in no way am I blaming the officials for an outcome that really got out of hand once they failed to do their job. With that said, I simply can't let this call slide without discussing it...
Not to go full Tortorella and completely denounce the current replay system based on one single play, but if that wasn't a goal then you really have no choice but to feel uneasy about the state of officiating in the NHL. Why was it disallowed, you ask? Good question. I was hoping you could answer that for me. The puck was loose and the whistle wasn't blown so I am having a hard time figuring it out myself. My best guess is that the referee's intention was to blow the whistle earlier even though blowing the whistle earlier would have been the wrong call. Essentially the referee's own futility gave him a second chance to make the right call on a play that -for some odd reason- was unchallengeable, and I think we all know how that turned out.
Again, the Devils didn't play well enough to win tonight. You will get no argument on that from me. However, that play would have made it 3-2 and anyone that has ever watched a second of Devils hockey knew that the Blue Jackets were going to turn that "fortuitous" (Also see: Terrible) decision into a goal on the other end, and that they were probably going to do it in fairly agonizing fashion. Couldn't script something more agonizing than a wayward pass casually glancing in off David Schlemko's skate and giving Nick Filigno -#3 on my top 5 most hated NHL players- a hat trick in the process. The Devils cost themselves the game by showing up for it twenty minutes late, but a comically bad call was quite the additional charge.
The worst part about this loss is that it gives the Devils ZERO wins in three tries against Columbus. One team that's vastly overachieved could very well meet an untimely demise solely because of another team that has massively underachieved. The irony of the Devils potentially missing the playoffs because they can't beat the Columbus FUCKING Blue Jackets would almost be enough for me to whine, complain, and ask for a rule change...if I hadn't chastised John Tortorella for doing the very same thing no more than three days ago.
P.S. Such disrespect...