The Stanley Cup has a long and interesting lineage. It dates back as far as 1892, and can officially be called the longest running trophy awarded to any professional sports franchise. As far as the National Hockey League is concerned, it is the highest honour that a team can lay claim to and is tantamount to hitting the jackpot at a Vegas online casino. Of course, back when it was first created the trophy was referred to as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, but it soon became known as the Staley Cup after Lord Stanley of Preston who was the Governor of Canada at the time.
The 2019 Stanley Cup has already reached its conclusion. It played out from April 10th 2019 to June 12th 2019. The winners were the St. Louis Blues, who bagged the trophy for the first time ever. Their 4-3 defeat of the Boston Bruins was a nail-biting experience, and likely one that will be remembered for many years to come.
But today we’re not here to talk about how great the Stanley Cup is, since it hardly needs confirmation from us. Instead we’re here to talk about some of the most controversial moments in the tournament history. We’re here to talk about the most questionable calls that ever happened during an official match.
Cody Eakin’s Five-Minute Major
If you’re an ice hockey fan at all, you probably know about the notorious Five-Minute major incident. Vegas were up 3-0, and looked to be all but certain of victory. But then it happened. Cody Eakin and Joe Pavelski got into an altercation, ending with Pavelski eating some ice in a rather awkward fall. Yes, he was bloody, and it got a bit of a reaction. He was helped off the ice, and it all looked very serious. Then, to the shock of the audience, Pavelski was not allowed back on. Eakin took the brunt, handed a ludicrous five-minute major. Most would agree that the altercation was a two-minute minor at most, if anything should have been handed out at all. Plain and simple; it was an overreaction on a serious scale.
Again, you likely know what happened after that. The Sharks pushed the advantage hard and managing to be up 4-3 by the time Eakin was allowed back on the ice. The match tied up and went into overtime, but ultimately Vegas were defeated. The league apologised for the call, but that is the very definition of too little, too late.
Uncertain Offside Overturns Goal
You probably know this one as well, since it is still hotly debated in many circles. Colorado Avalanche were trailing 2-1, with over 12 minutes remaining in the second period. Then it happened; a turnover beyond the blue line gave way to a 2 on 1. The goal seemed to have been scored, but the call came for an offside violation. There was confusion at first, but it was revealed that Gabriel Landeskog potentially did not tag up. He had been heading to the bench. It all ultimately boils down to the smallest, most insignificant detail. Was his foot on the ice, or wasn’t it? It was decided that it was not, which meant the goal was overturned.
But get out your magnifying glass and check for yourself, there really isn’t any way to tell. What makes it worse is that shrewd fans have pointed out that if Landeskog was still in play, the call should have been for too many men, since his replacement was already on the ice. It’s all enough to make you scream in frustration. Either way, the call resulted in the Avs being defeated, and a very sheepish apology from Landeskog.
Puck Hits The Net But Goal Declared
We saved the best, or the worst depending on how you look at it, for last. Although in this case the bad call didn’t, technically, sway the game one way or the other, it still remains as one of the most notable bad calls ever to happen in the Stanley Cup.
The Bruins led 2-0, seeming to be well on top of the situation. But Columbus seemed to make a serious comeback as Panarin managed a goal. But, what exactly happened with that goal? The puck clearly came into contact with the net just before it was slammed home, so the play should have been called dead immediately. However, the goal was allowed, in perhaps one of the most blatant oversights to have ever occurred on the ice.
Or was it? This is where the controversy really heats up. According to the rules, since the puck didn’t immediately go into the net, there was no reason for the goal to be reviewed. It was in play a full six seconds after touching the net. Some agree, some don’t. Where you stand is up to you, but at the very least there is serious discussion about where, exactly, the line is drawn.