Which Was Worse? The Sharks Overtime Goal or Brett Hull’s 1999 Cup Winning goal?

May 19, 2019 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article

By now, it’s been the goal seen, heard, and debated around the world. You already know which one we’re talking about: the San Jose Sharks overtime winner against the Blues that came off a blatant hand pass. Truth be told, I wasn’t watching the game, I was at a bar, but I knew the situation was bad when I looked down at my phone and saw, not a text from my hockey loving friends, but my own mother explaining the situation.

“San Jose just scored but one of their players touched the puck with this hands to give it to someone else. Is that even allowed? It looks controversial.”

As soon as I saw that, I knew this was going to be the great debate heading into the Stanley Cup finals. Now, the purpose of this article isn’t to debate if the officials blew the call or not (they did, by the way), but to compare it to another controversial NHL playoff goal. This is one we’re still talking about and debating 20 years later. That goal was Brett Hull’s Stanley cup winning goal in 1999.

For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999, a year before they would lose to New Jersey in the finals, after Stars player Brett Hull scored in overtime of game 6. At the time, NHL rules stated a players skate could not be in the crease, but Hull’s was prior to the goal being scored. The NHL explained, and maintains the position, that since hull had possession of the puck while his skate entered the crease, the play was legal and the goal stands.

The entire hockey world has been talking about Erik Karlsson’s goal Wednesday night, with that news eclipsing even the Boston Bruins advancing to the Stanley Cup finals. Even though we’re still talking about it after two days, will we be talking about in 20 years like the Hull goal? Which will go down as the more controversial of the two?

The answer to that is simple: the Brett Hull goal will continue to live in infamy. That goal decided, not only a series, but a Stanley Cup championship. The stakes are always high for the Stanley Cup, but the stakes for the 1999 cup were just a bit higher considering both franchises, the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres were competing for their first Stanley Cup. Buffalo still remains Cup-less to this day, so the wound of the Hull goal can still be felt throughout the city.

Karlsson’s goal, while coming in the Western Conference final, came in game three. While it may have given the Sharks a 2-1 series lead, this is still a very winnable series for the Blues. If the Blues end up falling to the Sharks, that goal will be looked at as a turning point. If the Blues end up prevailing over San Jose, Blues fans will probably forget all about it as they set their eyes to the ultimate prize: the team’s first Stanley Cup.

Over the years, a certain mystique has grown around Brett Hull’s goal and the leagues reaction. The league responded with actions, such as changing the rules about a players skate in the crease all the while sending a secret memo to NHL teams explaining the goal call. That might sound like aggressive action, but it was an aggressive situation.

The NHL got the call wrong, and we can all watch the clip a million and one times and come to the same conclusion. Most likely as the playoffs carry on, the outrage will begin to dwindle, and the San Jose Sharks goal will be relegated to a footnote in NHL history, while the Hull goal has its own chapter.

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Why the Bruins Will Win the Stanley Cup

May 17, 2019 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article

In the middle of May with just three teams left in Stanley Cup contention, most hockey fans patiently wait for the NHL Draft. Without a dog in the fight, it’s easy to find a reason to root against each team. Maybe, you’re dreading the success of the pesky Boston Bruins and Brad Marchand, who could most aptly be described as a rat in human form. Maybe you think the referees might as well be wearing Sharks’ jerseys, or that the Blues have had an easy road to the Conference Finals.

For Devils’ fans, you’re probably celebrating Carolina’s loss, since they delivered that heartbreaking loss to the Devils in 2009. Either that or you’re placing a stake in teams who have formal Devils players, like the Blues’ Pat Maroon or Boston’s Marcus Johansson. Unfortunately, I’m here to tell you that regardless of you’re rooting interest, the Bruins are going to win the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. Last night they completed the sweep on the Carolina Hurricanes, with an assertive win on the road. In the finals, they await the winner of the Blues-Sharks series, where San Jose currently leads 2-1. Though either of these teams will prove a tough matchup for Boston, here’s why I think they’re the best team left.

Bruins’ Offense

First off, their top line is among the best forward lines in the NHL, and there’s no debating otherwise. In game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, this line scored all four goals in the 4-0 win against the Canes. Just look at these goals…

I know you didn’t come here to watch Bruins’ goals, but they were undoubtedly beautiful.

On the list of 2019 playoff goal leaders, Boston’s top line holds positions fourth, fifth, and sixth, with a combined 22 goals over the course of 17 games. Beyond that, these players offer more than just scoring. Obviously, Marchand has the ability to get under his opponent’s skin, Bergeron is clutch, and Pastrnak delivers on both ends of the ice. Then you have a second line with workhorse Jake Debrusk, who can dish apples from his knees, David Krejci who has 14 playoff points, and David Backes, who morphed into a wrecking ball. Then the third line is delivering with deadline pickups Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle to join young stud Danton Heinen (stick taps Don Sweeney). And finally, even the fourth line can hang with guys like Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly.

Via Daily Faceoff

Bruins’ Defense

With that overwhelming offense, it’s worth it to point out that the Bruins’ defense can break down at points. They are led by Captain Zdeno Chara, who is not the player he used to be, awkwardly trying to stickhandle the puck as a 6’9, 42-year-old. They have puck handlers in Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, Connor Clifton, and Matt Grzelcyk, but they don’t have great size which could be a problem, especially against the Blues. Luckily for them, Brandon Carlo reaffirms their presence on the blue line, and they still have the former Devil John Moore if they need him. Still, to point out a weakness right now, it would be the Bruins defense, especially the way Tuukka Rask is playing.

With a .942 save percentage and 1.48 goals against average in these playoffs, all Rask needs to do is bring his game to the Finals to win the hearts of Boston fans forever. The only worry for Bruins fans would be if their extended rest somehow throws their game off. But if you’re a Bruins hater, expect the worst in a year that’s all about parades in Boston.

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