I have not seen the replay in question, nor do I want to, because it is, ultimately, irrelevant. From what I've heard, though, it sounds like the Isles and their fans have a right to be upset. But , that said, the question remains as to why that replay was not brought to bear. In Garth Snow's mind it's because the NHL hates the New York islanders:
Officials, he said, have treated the Islanders poorly since he joined the team in 2001.
"A call like this happens on a regular basis," Snow said.
Now, as a Sabres fan I can tell you that I sympathize entirely with Snow's attitude, so much so, that I was expecting the league to not count Vanek's goal in Game 3, and to count the one from last night, because that's just the way it is with the Sabres. Regularly while watching a game the discussion will center around when and how the Sabres will get screwed near the end of the 3rd period. Even though we know it's irrational, it's become reflexive. For Snow to stoop to the level of fan wearing his homer-glasses though, that's a different matter entirely. I guess they really do do things differently now on the Island.
A point that is convieniently not brought up during any discussion of this goal is that Leggo lost sight of the puck and could have (and probably should have) blown his whistle earlier than he did. We've all seen plays blown dead that shouldn't have been, because of this and many a playoff goal didn't count that should have. Vanek's disputed goal was one of them. The whistle was blown in the scramble after the puck was kicked back out even though Rick DiPietro didn't have control of it. Max Afinogenov came streaking in to pound home the rebound, jsut afterwards. Now, if the War Room in Toronto had overturned the goal the first itme the puck was in the net, then the Sabres would have had a huge beef with the lightning fast whistle that DiPietro got, nullifying the second time they put it in the net.
...And, we're off at the Conspiracy 500 here in Uniondale....!At the heart of this matter, though, is how the league should handle situations like this and whether they should be able to remove control of the game for all rules concerning goals being scored. Currently that is not the case. The morning show crew at WGR in Buffalo brough this up and concluded that to get things right, the replay guys and the War Room in Toronto should be able to do so. Last night the league left it in the hands of Mike Leggo, who was convinced that his interpretation of the play was the correct one, even though the league had evidence to the contrary. Should they have overruled Leggo and awarded the Isles a goal?
If your answer is yes, then why don't we remove the human refs from the game altogether and just let the War Room in Toronto call the games for us? It's the logical end of the argument. They have replay and the technology and we can remove all that sticky human stuff from the game. They can stop play every 5 seconds with the Jumbotron horn and have an endless series of do-overs as we rewind the clock for every off-sides the linesmen get wrong.
And, if that's the case, then I'm sure the Isles wouldn't mind having their names removed from the Stanley Cup (a team I cheered for in a former life) because clearly Bobby Nystrom's goal (I remember it like it was yesterday) in Game 6 against Philly in the Finals of 1980 shouldn't have counted.