Last night the stage was set for the NHL. With the NBA Western Conference finals over and boring inter league baseball on the diamond, Game 7 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings was the main event in sports.
With record second round numbers for Game 6, it was inevitable that Game 7 would set a new record. Sports fans that don’t love hockey would tune it for a game 7. Especially when the two teams playing are rivals and have huge fan bases.
The game went exactly how the NHL and NBC would want it to go for 58 minutes. Chances on both ends, big hits, players sacrificing their bodies to block shots and great goaltending all were on display at the United Center. Whether you love hockey or not you had to appreciate what was happening on the ice. Many of those people used Twitter to share their thoughts.
Then with under two minutes left, a disaster occurred for the NHL. A Niklas Hjalmarsson goal, which would have given the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead, was waved off because of coincidental rough minors by Kyle Quincey and Brandon Saad behind the play. The over 22,000 people at the United Center had no idea what happened, but the many more on Twitter chimed saying how bad the call was and joking that Joey Crawford has become a NHL ref. The last thing the NHL wants is the play on the ice being overshadowed by a poor call by the ref. Brent Seabrook quickly scored an overtime winner for the Blackhawks and the NHL all took a sigh of relief.
If Detroit won the game in overtime, all the talk this morning would’ve been about the bad call. All of it, and it would look terrible for the league when they were the main sport that night. Instead the Blackhawks won and it is a lot easier to ignore the questionable call late in regulation.