Something I want to get off my chest:
Officials disallowing goals for irrelevant reasons is- like pucks ricocheting off multiple players into the net- a part of hockey. I will not descend to the level of the Boston sportswriters who tried to dismiss the Blackhawks' victory in that Game 1 Stanley Cup Final marathon as "luck" becuse the shot that won it bounced off two Hawk players on the way into the net, and because the goal that tied it went in off a player's skate- as if all games decided by teams as evenly matched as these didn't finally come down to luck, in one way or another.
But whether the official lost sight of the puck and forgot to blow his whistle or not had nothing to do with Hossa's goal. The whistle didn't blow, and the referee's human fallibility shouldn't negate a perfectly legitimate goal* . By rights, Hossa's tally should have stood, the Hawks should have won the Game 2 to 1 in regulation, and the game should never have gone to overtime for the Bruins to win there .
But like the deflected goals that won Game 1 for the good guys, them's the breaks. Bottom line: Boston deserved to win Game because when the chips were down- in overtime, during that final surge- they wanted it more. Maybe the Hawks were tired. But so were the Bruins, and they somehow found the strength to take care of business.
It's a formula that's worked for us all season long. This time, the tables were turned. Credit is due where credit is due.
Tonight's Game 3 in Boston- and in each and every subsequent game in the series- will be decided the same way. The winner will, to be sure, be the team that gets the breaks; it always is.
But more than that, it will be the team that wants it more, and does what needs to be done to get it.
In a series between teams as evenly matched as these, it could not be any other way. And that's the reason why I believe that this Stanley Cup Final will go down in history as one of the best of all time.
*ADDENDUM: To clarify, the rule as presently written allows the ref to disallow the goal if he INTENDED to blow the whistle. It's a pretty bogus rule IMHO, and a great many others think so, too. But it is the rule. The goal was properly disallowed. But the rule badly needs to be changed back to the old rule. which required the whistle to actually blow before the puck crosses the goal line.
In any event, as the CBC announcer says, at the time the puck crossed the goal line the ref's hands were at his sides. The whistle was nowhere near his mouth. It was, in essence, a good break for the Bruins, and a bad one for the Hawks.