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Predators’ Stanley Cup Final goal waved off thanks to controversially quick referee whistle

The Predators have every right to be upset about this.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, boy.

The Nashville Predators seemingly broke a scoreless tie with their season on the line in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Until the dreaded quick whistle shut down their celebrations.

Early in the second period, the Predators dropped a hard shot on Penguins goalie Matt Murray. It slipped under and behind him, and Colton Sissons poked the puck into the net and sent the crowd into a brief flurry.

But the referee, Kevin Pollock, had blown his whistle when he either lost sight of the puck or thought Murray had control of it to stop play. By NHL rules, a play like that is not reviewable. When the whistle blows, play stops. Anything after is moot.

But if you can’t hear the whistle, it also doesn’t matter. Here’s an explanation for a similar play back in January.

According to Rule 78.5, apparent goals shall be disallowed “when the Referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle.”

Ironically, that waved off goal was also by the Predators. The NHL rules may be dumb, but the Sports Gods are just as cruel.

It’s also worth noting that this exact situation happened earlier this season where the call was reversed:

Predators fans surely won’t linger on this moment for decades to come!

For what it’s worth, the Predators’ captain was gracious about the play when asked after the Predators lost the Cup Final.