2010 Stanley Cup Nightcap: Instant Replay Earns #1 Star

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 02: Scott Hartnell #19 of the Philadelphia Flyers scores a goal against Antti Niemi #31 of the Chicago Blackhawks in the second period as Niklas Hjalmarsson #4 and Danny Briere #48 look on in Game Three of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Wachovia Center on June 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Chicago: 3 - Philadelphia: 4 (OT) (Blackhawks Lead Series 2-1)

On a night where the baseball world was marred by an unforgettable officiating blunder, resulting in thousands of cries for instant video review, the hockey world decided to show up America's "Pastime". Not once, but twice. 

Sure, neither really ended up affecting the outcome of the game. The first video review gave the Flyers a 2-1 edge in the second period, wiping out 90~ seconds of subsequent play. The second came in overtime, clearly showing Simon Gagne's shot didn't rebound off the post across the line, erasing what would have been a Flyers' OT win. Again, the review didn't have much impact, as Claude Giroux came right back and deflected the game winner past Antii Niemi seconds later.

So ultimately, did the reviews affect the outcome of the game? You could make a case the first one did, as the game would've remained tied. But who really knows how things would've played out from there?

The real point here is that instead of drowning in questions like "what if" and "was it really over the line", hockey fans are satisfied that the game reached an outcome without controversy or mystery. All thanks to video review. Thank goodness, too, because NO ONE wants controversy in the Finals of any sport. We want our final games clean, smooth and settled with certainty. Video review gives us this. Yeah, some team is going to get the raw end of the deal at some point or another, and those fans aren't going to be happy.

But let's say we had no video review tonight, and the Gagne play was ruled a goal. Blackhawks fans would be livid, of course. But you have to think even some Philly fans would be feeling a little bit guilty at some point. That kind of win just doesn't mean as much as winning neatly like Giroux did.

So in this case, the NHL bests the MLB. And trust me, NHL fans are much happier fans for having video review.

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