If Detroit had won Game 7 against Chicago, where would Stephen Walkom’s call have ranked among the all-time blown calls in sports history?
The Detroit Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg, second from left, celebrates his third-period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of Western Conference semifinals at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, on Wednesday May 29, 2013. (Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press/MCT)
Late in the third period of Wednesday’s Game 7 between the Red Wings and Blackhawks, NHL official Stephen Walkom called coincidental roughing penalties on Kyle Quincey and Brandon Saad — negating what would have been the go-ahead goal for Chicago. The call was nearly unanimously derided for multiple reasons. But because Chicago won in overtime, it will become a quickly buried footnote instead of a piece of historical infamy.
What we wondered is this: If Detroit had won the game, where would Walkom’s call have ranked among the all-time blown calls in sports history? Here is a brief attempt to put it into context IF the Red Wings would have won:
Two calls with greater impact
• Umpire Don Denkinger missed an out-safe call in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. The Cardinals led the series three games to two and were ahead 1-0 in the game at the time of the call. Buoyed by a baserunner they shouldn’t have had, the Royals scored twice to win and then clobbered a clearly flustered Cardinals squad 11-0 in Game 7 to win it all.
• Diego Maradona scored the first goal of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England on what is commonly referred to as the “Hand of God” goal. Maradona clearly punched a ball out of the air and into the goal — a handball violation — but the goal stood. Maradona scored again later in a 2-1 victory and Argentina went on to win the World Cup.
Two calls with less impact
• Replacement officials ruled Seahawks receiver Golden Tate came down with a TD reception on the final play against the Packers in a regular-season game in 2012 despite strong evidence that indicated it was an interception. Still, both teams went on to make the playoffs — making the call damaging but not completely debilitating.
• First base umpire Jim Joyce missed an out-safe call with two outs in the ninth inning, denying Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. It was a bad call that impacted what would have been a great achievement, but Detroit still won the game.
|Chicago WSox - WP: S. Carroll||6||FINAL|
|Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister||2|
|Atlanta - WP: M. Minor||11||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson||6|
|NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene||3||FINAL|
|Baltimore - LP: C. Tillman||0|
|Arizona - WP: W. Miley||2||FINAL|
|San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong||0|
|St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright||10||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson||2|
|Miami - LP: M. Dunn||4||FINAL|
|NY Mets - WP: V. Black||5|
|Boston - LP: J. Peavy||2||FINAL|
|Houston - WP: J. Fields||3|
|Minnesota - WP: K. Correia||9||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: T. Matzek||3|
|Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison||3||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi||10|
|Detroit - WP: R. Porcello||5||FINAL|
|Kansas City - LP: J. Shields||1|
|Washington - WP: R. Detwiler||5||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman||3|
|Pittsburgh - WP: J. Wilson||6||FINAL|
|Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover||5|
|LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver||5||FINAL|
|Texas - LP: M. Mikolas||2|
|San Diego - LP: K. Quackenbush||0||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - WP: K. Jansen||1|
|Oakland - LP: J. Chavez||2||FINAL|
|Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma||6|
|Red Bull New York||4|
|Sporting Kansas City||2||FINAL|
|Real Salt Lake||0||FINAL|