Pass or Fail: Sidney Crosby's nearly high-stick OT game-winner

Frankly, we're a little Crosby'd out after yesterday; but based on the volume of mail in our inbox this morning, this goal against the Buffalo Sabres in overtime last night merits some attention.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were storming the zone when Alex Goligoski (who had another outstanding game) sent the puck to Evgeni Malkin for a solid one-timer (if you're Phil Niekro). His shot was deflected in by Sidney Crosby in front, and immediately the Sabres called for a replay review as Crosby's stick was close to being above the crossbar.

The crisp video of the goal is here. But this YouTube, of varying degrees of quality, captures six minutes of the goal, the review and the Versus postmortem on the goal:

Reaction to the replay officials' ruling of "good goal" has been interesting. Ryan Miller's gut didn't think it was a goal, but he was careful not to be too harsh about it. Tony from The Confluence, a Penguins blog, said it was a bad call and that he "thought Crosby's stick was a good 6 inches over the crossbar." FanHouse and PensBurgh both make the case that the original call was "goal" and the evidence wasn't there to overturn it.

(UPDATE: As was mentioned in the comments, Pensblog had this graphic that attempts to prove the legality of the goal. It's still close, even if the puck didn't hit the highest part of the stick.)

As one might expect, the folks at Let's Go Sabres see it slightly different:

Calling the Sidney Crosby goal a good goal is a joke. The ruling on the ice was a goal and, according to the NHL guidelines for replay, you need indisputable evidence (kind of like the NFL) to overturn the ruling on the ice. Here is my problem with that logic: How could you [say] definitively that it was a goal? What the NHL should do is instead of going based on the ruling on the ice, when you go to replay, you should act like no call was made on the ice. That way, you use the replay to make the call. Based on my observations, it wasn't a goal. Keith Jones, a Versus analyst, agreed. Brian Engblom, another Versus analyst, thought it was a goal. That alone should tell you that it should not have been called a goal.

Look, the NHL deserves the blame here. Not because of some grand conspiracy of Crosby protectionism, which really shouldn't even be a consideration here like it is in other cases. But because the League is using instant replay to decide the winners and losers in games, and yet it doesn't have a single ice-level camera pointed at the goal to provide definitive proof on a high-stick goal. Goal or no-goal last night that's a broken system and an embarrassment -- they shouldn't even review high-stick goals if the only video available is on a downward angle. But what do you think?

Pass or Fail: Sidney Crosby's game-winner against Buffalo was a legal goal.

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