NHL Playoffs 2018: Were the Penguins robbed of a goal on controversial call in Game 2?

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With the Capitals holding a 3-1 lead halfway through the third period of Game 2 in Washington, it looked like the Penguins might have scored a goal to cut the lead to one.

Given the Caps’ penchant for blowing leads this postseason, that potential goal — off the stick of Patric Hornqvist — had the potential to be a game-changer.

But officials on the ice weren’t near the net and couldn’t get a good look to see if the puck fully crossed the goal line. As a result, they called it “no goal” on the ice.

The play eventually went to video review, but even most of the angles shown on replay didn’t provide a conclusive answer to whether the puck crossed the line. Common sense led many to believe that the puck was likely shoved past the goal line, but Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made it difficult to get a clear look. 

This is the closest thing we got to conclusive evidence:

It sure looks like there’s white between the puck and the goal line, which would suggest it’s a goal. But is that white ice or is it snow? And is this angle to be trusted when there’s no good overhead look? Remember, the issue of parallax angles means that the overhead look is the most valuable to situations like this.

Ultimately, the league’s Situation Room in Toronto decided there wasn’t enough hard evidence to overturn the call on the ice. They released a statement regarding the decision and said “”video review determined that there were no definitive replays which showed that the puck completely crossed the Washington goal line.”

Obviously, the Penguins and their fans weren’t thrilled with that decision, especially considering it happened in the third period of a postseason game.

It seems a little ridiculous that the NHL hasn’t implemented better technology to deal with situations like this. When you look at what soccer and tennis are able to do with line technology, it can be pretty frustrating that the NHL is still choosing to rely on camera angles when goalies can often render those camera angles useless.

In any case, the Capitals went on to win 4-1 and even their series with Pittsburgh.





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