The St. Louis Blues do have themselves to blame for their loss in Game 3, that much is clear. However, the league as a whole is now getting attention for all the wrong reasons.
The St. Louis Blues would not be the St. Louis Blues if they did not have some bad luck. The Blues are the sports equivalent of the person that says if they did not have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all.
It does have to be said that the Blues did lose Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. They had a 4-3 lead into the final minute of the game and coughed it up. Everything in regulation is their fault.
The issue is that the game went to overtime. Then, it ended far too early because of a horrendous missed call by four officials.
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By now, all Blues fans know about the play. It was a clear hand pass and everyone has deemed it as such unless you coach or play for San Jose, which is to be expected.
At this point, the problem becomes the attention the NHL is getting from it. Those that are steamed about it will say it is well deserved.
Still, for the game we love and the league with the highest quality of play, it is embarrassing to get this kind of coverage. Most hockey fans would love to have non-traditional markets or media outlets covering the sport, but when it is for something like this, it is a black eye.
Close to everyone is picking up on this story. The Denver Post put together a solid compilation of reactions to this scenario.
The Avalanche are already out of the playoffs, so the fact they picked up on this situation shows how egregious it is.
The Avs are no stranger to controversy. They got the short end of the stick against the Blues earlier in the season. Though the call was correct, apparently the officials were not allowed to review that play and they did anyway.
Then, in the playoffs, they came up short against San Jose. By the letter of the law, the Avs did have a player offside, but he was practically off the ice and nobody would have batted an eye if the tying goal in Game 7 of that series had stood. So, the Avs fans and writers know the Blues pain.
Even the Kansas City Star is talking about the hand pass, or lack thereof. No offense to the good people of Kansas City, but that is not a hockey market. When you get Kansas City covering anything other than a possible fourth page story about the Missouri Mavericks, you are not doing things right.
Even ESPN is getting in on the act. The network has all but given up on hockey outside of their subscription platform. They do still have people that know about hockey, but the fact they have focused on it highly is not good for the NHL when ESPN usually shrugs their shoulders.
CBS Sports is talking about it. Their take was a little more matter of fact, talking about the situation overall, but it is national coverage nevertheless.
Of course, social media was ablaze after this debacle.
Speaking of ESPN, resident NHL guru at the media giant, John Buccigross was not pleased with how things went down.
The Vegas Golden Knights even chimed in on the noncall. Of course, Vegas got the rawest deal of them all with a made up five minute major in their Game 7 against San Jose.
At least some had a little fun with it.
Some were less cordial.
I encourage everyone to check out social media, especially Twitter. While I am still upset over the situation, the humor behind some of the memes was enough to take the edge off.
As far as the games go from here on out, hopefully the Blues can put this all behind them. As fans, we can talk about that until we are blue in the face and it really does not have any affect on anyone except ourselves.
players have to leave it behind them. Craig Berube says they have. We will see in Game 4.