Marian Hossa's controversial goal Wednesday is the talk of the NHL.
The Blackhawks appeared to have caught maybe the biggest break of their season in the second period when referees Dan O'Halloran and Brad Watson ruled Hossa's goal good even though it was difficult to see if the puck completely crossed the goalline.
St. Louis led 2-0 at the time and the goal changed the momentum of the game, which the Hawks went on to win 4-3 in overtime.
Hossa kicked at the puck, which hit the post. Then it was ruled he got his stick on the puck as it trickled along the goalline. The referee pointed good goal. The play was reviewed in Toronto, but because it was a called a goal in the ice the war room needed conclusive evidence to overturn the ruling. Replays couldn't provide the conclusive evidence.
“Both Hoss and I didn't think it was in, but the ref was standing right there and he pointed,” Patrick Sharp said.
The Blues weren't happy with the whole process, particularly goalie Ty Conklin, who accused the NHL of favoring the big market Hawks.
“They called it a goal on the ice, which is fine, that’s understandable,” Conklin said. “But the reason we have video replay is to get the right call. They’re probably going to make it into the playoffs anyways, but do we really have to make it that obvious that the league wants them in?
“It was a close play, but the puck never crossed the line. I was sitting there watching it, and I knew it wasn’t over.”
St. Louis coach Davis Payne thought the goal changed the game.
“The explanation was although there was a kicking motion, it touched his stick, and the puck was in the net,” Payne said. “From the angles I saw, I never saw it go completely in the net and I never saw it hit his stick. I don’t like the ruling on that goal obviously. At that point we had a lot of the control of the play, seemed like we were controlling the game positionally and territorially and that really got them started.”
Refrees O'Halloran and Watson refused a request by a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter to explain their ruling on the ice.
The win was critical to the Hawks' playoff chances. It gave them 95 points with two games to play.
With thew Hawks and Anaheim winning their games Wednesday night, Calgary was eliminated from the playoff race.
The eighth-place Hawks are 4 points ahead of ninth-place Dallas, with the Stars still having three games to play against Colorado (twice) and Minnesota.
The Hawks finish the season with two games against Detroit, Friday at Joe Louis Arena and Sunday at the United Center.
The Hawks can assure themselves a playoff spot with two wins even if Dallas wins its three games.