Hockey is absolutely amazing. It is also, perhaps, the most random and unfair sport in the world. It looked as if the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks were headed for a third overtime in their Game 5 thriller, but thanks to an absurd bounce and a Kevin Bieksa goal, the Canucks are through to the Stanley Cup finals after winning in double overtime by a final score of 3-2.
The game winning goal was one of the most bizarre goals you'll ever see, and when you watch the video at full speed, it appears to defy the laws of physics. Mason Raymond played the puck off the boards, and to all but one person on the ice, the puck appeared to go out of play. Instead, the puck hit a tiny spot between two panels of the glass above the boards, bouncing backwards towards the blue line instead of out of play behind the goal, where everyone thought the puck went. It fell to Bieksa who took a fairly weak shot, but due to the fact that everyone on the ice didn't know the puck was still in play, Antti Niemi was caught completely off guard and the puck bounced into the back of the net.
As the light came on and the horn sounded for a goal, the Canucks players celebrated while the Sharks players looked confused, the announcers sounded confused, the officials consulted and confetti rained down. In the midst of this confusion, with no one knowing how the puck ever got to Bieksa, there was some feeling that the goal might get called back. However, there was obviously nothing illegal about the goal, and as a result, it stood.
Interestingly enough, the Vancouver Canucks also clinched a Stanley Cup finals berth 17 years ago on this very day, winning in...drumroll...double overtime! May 24 will now be a day that is sacred in the history of the Canucks.