In the 1999 Stanley Cup finals, the Dallas Stars took on the Buffalo Sabres. This was a crucial game that would either crown the Stars as champions or push the finals back to Dallas for a seventh game.
The choke job here did not come from the Sabres but from the officiating crew. As many people still maintain this is a no-goal because of the rule that says a player can not have a skate in the crease unless the puck entered first.
In the game, the officiating crew did not enforce the rule as many understood it. Since the game was late into the third overtime, it is possible that the referees were tired and making a bad call fueled by exhaustion. Skating at a high speed in order to follow some of the world’s best athletes can be tiring. It can be especially tiring when you do it for two hours of game time and past midnight.
The NHL released many statements defending the decision of the referees but that was most likely to quiet the outrage over the issue.
There is no guarantee that if it had been called a no-goal that the Sabres would have won, but it was a rough pill to swallow for Buffalo fans.
Contact Mitch Klemp at MitchKlemp@yahoo.com and follow him on twitter @MeestaMitch