The New York Islanders’ game-tying goal went undetected on the ice, but not by the league’s Situation Room. After video review resulted in a goal being awarded, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner was not surprised by the outcome.
“I know Toronto already made up their mind it was a goal before they shot the puck,” Lehner said. “It’s just how it works in this league.”
Leading by one with 1:09 to play, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner made an amazing save on a shot from Isles winger Josh Bailey. Play continued as the seconds continued to tick off the clock.
It wasn’t a whistle that stopped play but the buzzer, sounded by the NHL Situation Room in Toronto. Previously, the league waited for a stoppage in play to review potential goals. The league has recently adopted a more proactive approach, sounding the buzzer to stop they game when a certain goal was undetected on the ice.
The officials conferred with the Situation Room and announced the goal, winding back the clock to the time the puck crossed the line. The Islanders, who tied the game with help of technology, went on to win the game 3-2 in overtime.
“Everything is predetermined against us,” added Lehner. “It’s not to be sulking or anything. We’re not where we want to be or anything like that. It’s just how it is. The Islanders are in a playoff spot, and you know, it is what it is.”
His coach was a bit more diplomatic after seeing the replay.
“After we looked at it a couple times from the overhead cam,” said Sabres coach Phil Housley, “I didn’t believe it was in. But seeing it from a different angle, it was definitely in.”
— Eyes on Isles (@eyesonislesFS) December 28, 2017
“I guess it’s something in Buffalo waters, you know?” mused Lehner.
The Swedish netminder was alluding to another recent officiating controversy, one where an NFL review overturned a touchdown by the Buffalo Bills
Lehner feels this isn’t the first time the league has unfairly ruled against Buffalo. One month prior, a Sabres goal was wiped out in a 3-0 loss to the Canadiens,
“We scored a good goal, and the league kind of takes it away,” Lehner said. “It’s a good goal. They take it away, he gets a shutout. It’s just how the league works. It’s unfortunate.”